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Farmers agree to wage talks

Jan 11 2013 07:58 Sapa
Striking farm workers demand that their daily wage

(AFP)

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Cape Town - Some Western Cape farmers have agreed to wage negotiations with unions, following a series of violent strikes. 

Cape Orchard group chairperson, Gerhard de Kock who represents 12 farms in the Hex River Valley at De Doorns said he had invited 28 farmers to a meeting. 

"I believe that the groups should come forward, as they've indicated to me that they are prepared to talk about a settlement deal." 

Local union leaders were also at the briefing. 

Unions, De Kock, and several other farmers, were expected to attend the meeting. 

On Thursday police used a water cannon, fired rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse thousands of strikers who pelted them with stones. The strike by seasonal workers to have their R69 daily wage increased to R150 resumed on Wednesday. 

The Bawsi Agricultural Workers' Union of SA's general secretary Nosey Pieterse said close to 6000 workers were on strike in De Doorns. Protests were also taking place in Grabouw and Wolseley. 

The N1 highway at De Doorns was still closed to traffic on Thursday. 

Agence France Presse reported that 18 people were arrested on Thursday, bringing the total to 62 this week.

Cosatu said the discussions were separate to those they've had with Agri-SA. 


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