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Farmworker commission on the cards

Nov 13 2012 08:49 Sapa

De Doorns protesters blocked the N1 highway last week. (Picture: Yunus Mohamed)

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Cape Town - Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson will ask the labour department to take another look at minimum wages for farmworkers, it was reported on Tuesday.

Her spokesperson Palesa Mokomele told the Cape Times the minister would approach Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant to establish a commission on the basic conditions of employment for farmworkers and sectoral determination.

Grape harvesters in the Hex River Valley, in the Western Cape, had been protesting for a week over their wages, demanding R150 a day. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day, with R80 being the highest and only offer from farmers.

A meeting between the agriculture minister, labour department officials and national agricultural unions in Pretoria on Monday failed to resolve grievances.

Throughout Monday, Stofland informal settlement residents clashed with police. Twelve people were arrested. Talks between parties were set to resume on Tuesday.

According to the Business Report, a third of workers had already returned to work.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions has vowed to mobilise farmworkers across the province and country in a mass solidarity action.

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tina joemat-pettersson  |  farm workers
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