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Farmworkers' strike suspended - Cosatu

Jan 16 2013 17:34
Cape Town - The Congress of SA trade Unions said on Wednesday that the Western Cape farmworkers' strike has been suspended for a week, with immediate effect, eNCA reported.

Cosatu wants farmers to agree to a deal based on an agreement brokered between what it says was a "significant amount" of farmers in Clanwilliam on Tuesday.

A wage of R105 a day was agreed upon, Cosatu said.

Provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said this was a model agreement that could be used in other towns to possibly end the strike, which had been violent at times.

But, both Agri SA and provincial entity Agri Wes-kaap said on Wednesday morning they had not been contacted by Cosatu regarding a plan to extend the apparent wage deal.

Agri Wes-Kaap spokesperson Porschia Adams said that to her knowledge, a wage deal was agreed to by one farmer who owned a number of farms, rather than multiple farmers.

Agri SA president Johannes Mller later released a statement saying no agricultural wage deal had yet been made in the country.

He said: "An offer made by a single [Clanwilliam] farmer, who is apparently highly dependent on the services of a large number of temporary workers during peak harvest time, was welcomed by Cosatu and portrayed by them as a collective deal with Clanwilliam farmers which could serve as a trend-setter for wider application."

He said this offer was apparently not supported or mandated as a collective agreement by other farm leaders and their organisations in the area.

Agri SA had repeatedly called for individual farmers to negotiate with their workers at farm level, which was apparently taking place.

Cosatu said that the strike would resume on 23 January if the wage model was not accepted.

cosatu  |  agri sa  |  cape town  |  labour  |  farmworker protests



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