Union calls for strike support

2012-11-15 15:43

Johannesburg - Catering union Saccawu on Thursday called for support for farmworkers in the Western Cape, to strengthen the "fight for better wages".

"Same as the miners, farmworkers earn low wages, work under horrendous atmosphere (sic) and live in appalling conditions," the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union said in a statement.

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

Sixteen towns in the province had been affected by the protests, which included blocking roads and burning tyres.

On Wednesday the labour department announced a two-week suspension of the strike. Workers agreed to this on condition that the Employment Condition Commission look at the bargaining council for agriculture.

This meant the R70 daily minimum wage for farmworkers would be renegotiated.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) assured the department that workers had been consulted on the agreement and would abide by it, and not resort to violence and vandalism.

Western Cape premier Helen Zille's call for the military to be brought in to protect farmers, and not workers, was meant merely to protect the rich and disregarded workers, the union federation said.

"It is the system of commercial and capitalist agriculture that is anarchic, and continually seeks to drive wages down and erode living standards."

The strike confirmed the need for a legislated national minimum wage to address poverty and inequality, Cosatu said.

  • peter.vanrensburg.5 - 2012-11-15 16:11

    here is what i think......this has nothing to do with wages. This is an attempt,yet again, at destablising the Western Cape by the ANC. The reason?..the Western Cape makes all the ANC controlled provinces look pathetic to say the least. Here is a province that actually works, and the ANC can't handle that.It makes them look even worse than they already look!

      colleen.williams.1840 - 2012-11-15 16:34

      Peter I agree fully with you!! The media has not reported on the truth in this matter. There are many farm workers in the WC on those farms that do want to work and do not want to be part of the strike. If the media would do their job properly they would (and maybe they know) who is behind all this. Foreigners who have been given SA residence and ID books by this Goverment who are afraid they are going to loose votes, so what better way to gain votes! As a farmer this is very unsettling for the rest of the Agricultural sector. Will it spread to other provinces? Yes, it will!

      peter.vanrensburg.5 - 2012-11-15 16:46

      see, people all to quickly forget how this country was brought to it's knees, to end apartheid. Mass action and playing the "victim" is what the ANC is VERY good at. In fact so good that many of the atrocities (and there were many!!) that the ANC committed during this period were completely overlooked.Bottomline unfortunately is that they will not stop until the Western Cape is back under their control.

  • Strikeback - 2012-11-15 16:46

    Saccawu. Need more membership fees? Recruit government officials. They are paid huge wages. They aslo have lots of free time and has excellent stone throwing skills. They are also skilled at recruiting members and know you dont have to deliver on all promises. You can find them in the "International Departures" area at OR Thambo. And if you see Mrs Oliphant, tell her about the strikes in SA.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-11-16 06:30

    Government has put the CCMA there for matters like these.

  • Josua - 2012-11-16 13:18

    shoot the bastards!!!! what happened to protecting yourself?

  • Josua - 2012-11-16 13:20

    its time the white afrikaner stands together, like we did in "slag van Bloedrivier', call on our God the allmighty, and do what we did back then!!!! we are more then capable, so let the ANC think they have the upper hand, cause no has the upper hand over God, who will protect us dearly and allow the afrikaner to send these evil souls to hell!!!!

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