• SABC shenanigans

    SA has already embarked on a slippery slope to autocracy, warns Terry Bell in Inside Labour.

  • Zim tastes people power

    Protests in Zimbabwe are forcing Mugabe to face anti-government sentiment, says Memory Mataranyika.

  • Platinum handshake

    Officials who try to do what's right risk far more than blessed wrongdoers, says Solly Moeng.

All data is delayed
Loading...
See More

Farm strike threatens production, jobs

Jan 11 2013 17:09
Fin24
Cape Town - Protest action on farms during the heart of the picking season will severely hurt the sustainability of farms and could result in job losses, the farmers’ union federation Asuf said on Friday.

The Agri-sector Unity Forum said that ongoing labour unrest in the Western Cape's fruit producing regions will impact negatively on production, the ability to serve local and international markets and the viability of farms.

"The knock-on effects of higher food prices and retrenchment of workers will follow as enterprises are forced to either or close down," said Asuf in a statement.

The umbrella body, who represents all major agricultural unions, said the mechanisation or venture into less labour intensive industries would inevitably lead to greater unemployment.

The organisation also threw its weight behind wage reforms proposed by the government. However, it called on farmers to pay higher wages than the minimum wage where possible.

On Friday, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant called on farmers to step up to the negotiation table to end the violent strike.

"I am not convinced that there is a serious attempt by farmers to negotiate," said Oliphant in a statement.

"I would also like to call on the farmers to engage their workers on the best way forward. At the end of the day, the main thing is negotiation between employer and employee."

Some striking farmworkers welcomed talks between unions and farm bosses.

The individual farmers agreed to a meeting organised by Cape Orchards Company (COC) chairperson Gerhard de Kock.

"We are glad they [farmers] are willing to negotiate," 29-year old farmworker Johannes Links told Sapa as he stood on the side of the N1 highway in De Doorns on Friday.

On Thursday, police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse thousands of strikers who pelted them with stones on the N1 in De Doorns.

The strikers, mostly seasonal workers, are demanding a daily wage increase to R150 from R69.

The protests, which began on August 27 last year, was called off on December 4 and resumed on Wednesday.

farmworker protests  |  strikes  |  farms

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
88 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

THE SAVINGS ISSUE

Saving can make a lot of things possible, but we all know how hard it is to save. This special Savings Issue will help you get focused.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Sarb's decision to keep the repo rate unchanged is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote

Loading...