Farmworkers to intensify strike

2013-01-13 12:42

Johannesburg - Farm workers in the Western Cape will intensify their strike in the coming week, Cosatu said on Sunday.

"The farmworkers have taken a decision to intensify the strike, because the farmers are not serious about the negotiations to find a solution," said Congress of SA Trade Unions Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich.

"Some farmers have indicated their willingness to increase above R100, but a number of bad farmers are opposing this," he said.

The farmworkers were also rejecting a call made by the African National Congress for them to suspend the strike.

"This is not political.... This strike can only be called off by workers and they have said it will continue until a living wage is paid," said Ehrenreich

Negotiations with some farmers had shown progress, he said, adding that if agreements were reached with farmers in particular areas, the strike would end in those areas.

He said farmworkers were calling on Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and President Jacob Zuma to intervene in the strike.

Farmworkers went on strike last year in demand of an increase in their daily wage from R69 to R150, and a coherent land reform programme. The strike was suspended in December, but resumed on Wednesday

During the often violent strike, farmworkers have barricaded roads, stoned motorists and burnt property belonging to the farms.

Farmworkers were calling on retailers to boycott the "bad farmers" who did not want to heed their demands, said Ehrenreich.

"Cosatu is calling on its members... not to handle the fruit and not to load any fruit onto the ships for export," he said.

"There has also been a call from workers from the food and fruit processing plants to also come and join the protest action."

Ehrenreich said workers were willing to suspend the strike "should government come to the party" on Monday.

Meanwhile, police said the situation was quiet on Sunday, with no violent protests reported.

"We are still keeping a huge police presence in all the affected areas to monitor the situation," said Warrant Officer November Filander.

A total of 125 people have been arrested since the beginning of the strike, mainly for public violence.

  • Danie Gerber - 2013-01-13 13:06

    The farmers must fire all the dumb farm workers. Lets see who is going to put food on their tables.

      bennie.kruger.5 - 2013-01-13 14:05

      Only Dumb people work for R69 a day and then destroy the farm that pays that , then surprised when they get 0.

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2013-01-13 14:59

      I am ashamed of COSATU. #DestructionofbrandSA

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-13 15:07

      I can see more credit downgrades in the near future the destruction of a productive industry in our economy. Good luck with the implementaion of the NDP if government can's secure affordable finance, and it's tax base are shrinking. Daar gan nog harde klippe gekou word en dis die armste mense wat die swaarste gan kry

      Chris - 2013-01-13 19:32

      your tables , iam alright jack I live in the free world

  • kosie.nel.14 - 2013-01-13 13:08

    Wys Cosatu nou vir die ANC 'n middelvinger! "ons het meer mag as julle"? Of is Ehrenreich en Fransman nou haaks? Interessante magspel - die gepeupel word net misbruik!

      bennie.kruger.5 - 2013-01-13 14:06

      Think we must have Speedcop idols in Western Cape as well , lots of 40C days lying Ahead.

  • avremel.niselow - 2013-01-13 13:10

    "Intensify the strike" in other words burn more cars and crops.

      lownabester - 2013-01-13 13:50

      And loot more shops, this is terrible, they will do everything to get their hands on the Western Cape. Why no strikes elsewhere??

      Jo - 2013-01-13 13:56

      Yeah, true word. The problem is it works in the short run. The employers give in to the violence and raise the salaries above what is commercially viable. Then, like the mines, they're forced to reduce their staff by the thousands. This isn't going to end well for anyone.

  • veldt66 - 2013-01-13 13:22


      bennie.kruger.5 - 2013-01-13 14:02

      Why dont they find jobs that pay more if R69 is not enough ??

      TSR01 - 2013-01-13 14:38

      R200 a day is an entry level salary for a college education junior position in many companies. R130 difference between having and not having skill / education / training. Remember, you have to pay to study (those R10,000 - R20,000 college courses don't pay for themselves) And when you think those junior college-certified employees still have to pay off the loans for college, they end up with just enough to get by. Its difficult to make a living if you want to go far, because the means to "get ahead" are so expensive, it is a curse and a blessing - qualifications + debt = better job, tight budget, brighter future. Anyway, bottom line is permanent farm workers get housing, electricity, water, (in some cases free schooling) and basic groceries (maize, rice, etc.) and their salary on top of that. R69 a day really isn't that bad in that case, especially since it was the last agreed upon wage in 2010 - yes, it was negotiated on. So really, I can't see why they want to get violent and destroy things when they could try negotiating again? Impatient? Ignorant? I couldn't say.

  • KCorsar - 2013-01-13 13:23

    I have no issue with legal industrial action, but draw the line when property belonging to others is wantonly destroyed. The Unions should be tasked with bringing their members under control or face court action to recover damages to property. Unions incite members into a mob mentality with their rhetoric in the media........

  • Boika Function QJ Jakuja - 2013-01-13 13:24

    @Danie i wudnt mind to literally skin u alive nd roast thereafter.

      Jimmy NZ - 2013-01-13 13:32

      There's that African spirit... Kill, murder, rape and burn! And people wonder why the rest of the world doesn't take anything from this continent seriously! When things don't go your way, just simply get a kierie and cause mayhem, hell this trait continues even when you don't have the white man to blame for all your problems... Just go a wee bit north!

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-13 13:33

      Typical striker mentality, respond to everything with violence.

      TSR01 - 2013-01-13 14:40

      What a violent and ignorant person this Boika Function QJ Jakuja is. Maybe I should phone his boss and get his boss's e-mail so I can send a screenshot of this violent death-threat. Nobody would want to have a serial killer as an employee!

  • zemole.lemole - 2013-01-13 13:25

    ehrenreich must die in a fire. Any more blood spilled will be due to that moron causing the trouble. If they want to throw stones, dont cry when 9mm come back your way. And how many kids are involved in the stone throwing. Bring in the army for the western cape, dont waste time sending them out the country on pathetic missions when you cant even patrol our borders from the rhino poaching taking place.

  • mullervince - 2013-01-13 13:26

    Well, in my opinion it is a political strike. People were transported there who ain't even farm workers....but it is fine, let them create a shortage of basic food and then explain to the people why... For the interim, the normal South Africans must support these farmers.. lets stop producing for one year, and see what happen.. clever again will become and remain idiots.

  • fanie.oosthuizen - 2013-01-13 13:38

    .... a number of bad farmers. That type of comments are the drive why South Africa that will never be sustainable.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-13 14:53

      @fanie amen you hit the nail right on the head friend

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2013-01-13 20:06

      @fanie.oosthuizen - I agree. The farmers have as much right to agree or not agree to wage hikes... They have a business to run and have all the right in the world to lay down terms and conditions of employ as long as it complies with labour law. But Mr P##phol Ehrenreich is entiteled to label them bad farmers but the destruction taking place is fine. Again demostrates bad governance by the ruling party !

  • angela.nair.3 - 2013-01-13 13:48

    So another week and another strike. As usual chaos rules our country - chaos - a state of disorder! These strikes are bordering on the riduculous. The violence is like a virus - spreading and increasing in strength! And the stikers are like the germs of the virus! Attacking everything irrespective of what the damage will do! Government has to step in now! To subsidise the farmers so they can pay their workers more than the stipulated "living wage" that the Labour Department felt was acceptable at the time! Or our farmers should seriously look at automation or farm for export! Find ways to become less dependant on these thugs who will never stop striking. Today its wages and tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Endless strikes to shut down farms and mines until the workers themselves are shut out permanently...............

  • jantjie - 2013-01-13 13:49

    Yes Tony, it is not you that will not have bread to eat

  • Trevor Moller - 2013-01-13 13:51

    I agree a decent working wage is required ask the farmers if they prepared to work for R69 a day but in the same breath there correct measures that can be taken to achieve that not violence if violence is used then shoot the F@@@@ers and as for @Bolka the only skinning youll do is your foreskin

  • kingofbotswana - 2013-01-13 13:53

    The farmers are paying the government legislated minimum wage, but these people are too ignorant to understand that power in numbers doesnt entitle you to muscle your own wage. I thought employers adverised positions and employees sign a contract at an agreed rate, but now they dont want to accept their wage? If they strike illegally, replace them with people who want to work and make a decent living. Life isnt fair, there will always be rich and poor.imagine a large listed company's senior management demanding a 100% salary increase ?

  • Trevor Moller - 2013-01-13 13:54

    @avremel burn more from your comment the only thing burnt out is your brain

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-13 14:25

      Hi join your fellow uneducated idiots in destroying their future employment.

  • jantjie - 2013-01-13 13:55

    Die Oeslied Daar is 'n man, Tony is sy naam Hy het 'n snaakse van en ''n swaard daarby Oes nou net en hulle kom dan saam Refrein a striking we will go, a striking we will go o yea a striking we will go Die swaard se naam is COSATU En hulle is nie smarto barbare is hul wel Refrein a striking we will go, a striking we will go o yea a striking we will go Van die Kaap tot in die Noorde As die oestyd kom Pluk Tony sy swaard en skreeu kom Refrein a striking we will go, a striking we will go o yea a striking we will go Hul ken nog nie die Boere kom Tony kom met jou swaard so krom Boere Refrein a shooting if you come, a shooting if you come O Ja Skiet die Bliksems Skiet

  • lenox.ntlantsana - 2013-01-13 13:59

    The farmworkers have a right to a living wage and therefore the government should join the party soon. Land programs need to be revisited as well!

      armand.horn.58 - 2013-01-13 15:30

      The average South African should understand that having a job is not a is a PRIVILEGE!

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2013-01-13 14:22

    I will load the rubber bullets .........

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2013-01-13 14:35

    The reason the Minister of Labour didn't appoint a commission last November (she's very nice and very pathetic) is the same as the reason the government dropped Nedlac: they want to shovel onto COSATU the blame for a poor deal for the workers. That is what the ANC mean by a mixed economy: land and share acquisitions for their friends; otherwise private enterprise as historically usual. Ehrenreich would be tearing his hair out if he wasn't so well paid.

  • Michael Hawthorne - 2013-01-13 14:38

    Pay them cost to company and charge school fees and charge for food charge rent maybe they will end up paying them less.

  • mlulami.dike - 2013-01-13 14:42

    The farmworkers must stop fighting for their rights...What is R60 a day? Fight for your R150 demand until the Boers come to the table.Struggle must continue comrades! Abelungu badlala ngabant' abamnyama maaan!!

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2013-01-13 20:11

      @mlulami.dike - All we have seen from Africa is struggle

  • smakwelana - 2013-01-13 14:53

    Get those whites who bombed the atm come and work for you. Or resort to white labour maybe R69 is enough for them.

      smakwelana - 2013-01-13 16:53

      @ jamba you won't even last a day picking apples. If you can live on R69 your option will be your gun to end your misery. I can withstand any kind of conditions. You left the cape coz you didn't want to be under British rule. Another reason slavery was abolished and could not control your slaves. Get white labouers to pick you grapes and apples and pay them minimum wage. Don't cry about blacks who strike. Get your brothers to do the work.

  • rohin.jadin - 2013-01-13 15:00

    If another massacre happens as a result of the intensifying ther strike, are they going to cry foul when law enforcement tres to maintain order, and then are we going to spend taxpayer money on a commission to investigate what went wrong again? Will we never learn?

  • isabelle.menzies - 2013-01-13 15:53

    Why do they call it negotiations when clearly it is one sided?

  • hennsa - 2013-01-13 16:10

    WB Yeats : "...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,...And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

  • smakwelana - 2013-01-13 17:40

    Resort to white labour maybe they will be happy with R69. Don't cry about blacks who don't want to work. Your brothers out there are hungry. Don't reserve these jobs for blacks

  • trudie.burger.3 - 2013-01-13 18:28

    Only Western Cape workers have a problem with wages? Why do the other provinces not strike as well? Same minimum wage applies? Could it be that the WC is punished for being DA led?

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2013-01-13 20:15

      Not "Could it be". The Western Cape are being punished, its all political

  • Chris - 2013-01-13 19:28

    Keep your eyes open the free world will boycott Yarpie products.

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