Settle farm strikes now, says Vavi

2012-11-28 13:14

Johannesburg - A new wage settlement for striking Western Cape farm workers must be agreed on immediately and not be subject to a new sectoral minimum wage increase, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

"There is an urgent need to reach an agreement on a new minimum wage to address workers' demand for R150 a day before December 4," Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg.

Workers have agreed to suspend their strike until December 4, on condition that the employment condition commission (ECC) look at the sectoral determination, including the minimum wage, for agriculture.

Vavi said that while the ECC was urgently considering an increase to the minimum wage for farm workers, an increase was still unlikely to be made official until early next year.

"This should not, however, prevent employers in the meantime from agreeing to a wage increase, since the sectoral determination sets minimum wages. There is nothing to stop employers paying more, as some already do," he said.

Vavi said farm employers were being "un-co-operative" and some were using private security companies.

"There is a danger of the situation getting out of everyone's control."

Sixteen Western Cape towns have been hit by violent protests this month over farming wages and working conditions. Two people have died and there has been extensive damage to property.

The protests started with table grape harvesters in De Doorns, who were calling for wages of R150 a day. Most earn between R69 and R75 a day.


  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-28 13:36

    Rich coming from COSATU who agreed to these farm wages in February this year.

  • johan.maree.5036 - 2012-11-28 13:41

    Vavi: "Farmers should pay more!", Farmers: "Where will that money come from?" Vavi: "I don't know, fire a few employees and the rest can get more" Farmer: "That would cause a lot of unhappy workers and might even cause riots!" Vavi: "Well then, I don't know and I don't care, as long as I say populist things I will stay on the gravy train, choo choo!" Everyone: "Thank you anc for killing the country!"

      pdvermaak - 2012-11-28 15:57

      Well said sir.

  • gary.desousa.5 - 2012-11-28 13:46

    A choice of words used by him:an agreement and then workers demands,so where is agreement? Private security?? If I was a farmer there thats the least form of security I would use to protect my family from savages,looters and arsonists. Go to labour dept vavi and speak to the minister not the farmers.

  • zemarais - 2012-11-28 14:44

    Nice comming from a Guy getting well R30 000 a month Read a letter from that Guy in Cape town the Cosatu guy saying that is his pay a month so I think your salary must be the same or more, I people in unions get that Much wonder how much everyone êls get, I get a Pension of R1400 so just wondering were is the fareness of all this so I get R46 a day so I wish I got R70 a day and that Guy get R1000 a day and then his TAx is already paid, so I am asking you are you also getting R30 000 , becsuse the whole sistem of this Guy get so much and that Guy get so little is the reason why things are like they are in SA, goverment you are the real guys in this Story that must chance and start being the óne that set am examble and to be fare, you are helping other farmers and schools, but o no no help for the white man, farmers or schools, I SM sick of this nonsens, you just turned aparteid Around and are the one's that are agains white people

      sean.noble1 - 2012-11-28 16:30

      Vavi gets paid more than 2 mil a year dude.

      TSR01 - 2012-12-03 13:37

      To clarify, that's R150,000+ per month :)

  • janis.moolman - 2012-11-28 14:49

    Vavi go and play.

      terra.schoultz - 2012-11-28 16:59

      Yes playing a game he is, ANC must be careful they are sending our country in a downward spiral. WE WILL NOT ALLOW THIS, WE WILL FIGHT FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN, SO KEEP ON PUSHING.... WE WILL BE DOING SOME PUSHING OF OUR OWN SOON!!!!!

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-11-28 15:41

    Perhaps Vavi should start farming? Might learn something - who knows.

  • sean.noble1 - 2012-11-28 16:26

    I agree with Vavi, Lets replace the casual laborers with machinery. Remember numb nuts machines are cheaper in the long run and they dont strike.

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