WC Cosatu calls for national farm strike

2012-12-02 11:20

Johannesburg - Cosatu in the Western Cape called on farmworkers across South Africa on Sunday to join a wide-scale agricultural strike.

Workers were calling for "one day of action across the whole agriculture sector across South Africa" on Tuesday, said Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich.

He said in a statement that, despite their best efforts, the unions would not be able to avert a renewed strike by farmworkers in the Western Cape on Tuesday.

Two people have been killed and buildings and vineyards have been set alight so far in the protests, which started last month in 16 towns, including De Doorns, Wolseley and Ceres.

Farmworkers suspended the action until Tuesday on condition the employment condition commission relook at the sectoral determination for agriculture.

However, Labour Minister Oliphant said this week that the sectoral determination, which came into effect in March, could by law be reviewed only in 12 months.

"The farmers, who were previously committed to find an agreement through good faith negotiations, changed their attitude to negotiations," said Ehrenreich.

They said they were not prepared to offer workers an increase.

"The right-wing elements in the farmers' group have now taken control and are hiding behind the minister's sectoral determination process."

He said a coalition of farmworkers and unions announced on Thursday that the strike in demand of a wage of R150 a day and better living conditions would resume on Tuesday. Most of them earn between R69 and R75 a day.

Ehrenreich said the farmworkers had been let down by the country.

"In spite of...(workers) bending over backwards to find solutions, no one is prepared to listen or work towards solutions with them."

He said farmers did not deny that they could afford to pay higher wages.

"They are really saying that if they treat the workers humanely in this sector, then workers would be demanding to be treated humanely in all sectors, and they can't have this," he said.

"They would rather spend their money on security guards.... They would rather assemble their private right wing armies on the farms."

He said there were "good" farmers, who did not agree with the "right-wingers" and were talking to unions to find a solution.


  • marc.schnehage - 2012-12-02 11:41

    Striking workers who damage property should be shot. Start with arch-instigator Tony!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-12-02 12:11

      I don't know what's more concerning though: Cosatu who still haven't learnt that every time their incite a big strike, their workers lose jobs because the sector suffers financial losses. Or The union members who keep supporting Cosatu and who end up losing their jobs. Is there any end in sight for this stupid African mentality?

      TSR01 - 2012-12-02 12:37

      Call on nation-wide agricultural strikes at the beginning of the festive season: "Sorry family, we don't have any nice food. Just bread and rice and water. But its okay, at least COSATU tried. We'll just have to starve for now. Merry Christmas."

      fussed.anderson - 2012-12-02 13:09

      1 st " Cosatu in the Western Cape called on farmworkers across South Africa on Sunday to join a wide-scale agricultural strike" 2nd " He said in a statement that, despite their best efforts, the unions would not be able to avert a renewed strike by farmworkers in the Western Cape on Tuesday"

      fussed.anderson - 2012-12-02 13:11

      The anc has nothing left to offer anyone, so the next best thing is grab it from where ever they can

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-12-02 13:47

      We want a strike in the Manguang area this month No food for those Idiots..

      alisha.abad.7 - 2012-12-02 15:30

      The farmers in the Villiersdorp, Vyeboom and Grabouw have hired in the big guns. Ex SADF special force guys, as well as heavily armed ex military veterans from other African countries. These chops are going to be slaughtered the minute they put foot on the farms. Bring it on Tony.

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-12-02 11:41

    Don't trust this hidden agenda. It's all politics ant nothing to do with the farmworkers wages....

      TSR01 - 2012-12-02 12:39

      Politics in December? Watch them get fired quick as a whistle! They can offer the job to anyone else. Heck if they got a raise to R150 a day, I would come work the fields over weekends! :P

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-12-02 12:44

      Tony thinks the Western Cape is a revolutionary province.

  • - 2012-12-02 11:47

    And yet you are nowhere to be seen when crops are being burnt and property looted and destroyed. It's fine Ehrenreich, when the farmers have packed up and gone to other African countries where they are actually welcomed, can we come to you for our food. Get off your brains

  • leon.vonsolms - 2012-12-02 11:48

    Mooi so. Maak die land onregeerbaar. Dis mos COSATU se groot doel.

  • Vagn Nielsen - 2012-12-02 11:48

    These #*+@! idiots!! Mess around with food security in a country and you will have a civil war on your hands!

  • werner.pretorius.12 - 2012-12-02 11:50

    Ek wil ook he my salaris moet verdubbel.

      TSR01 - 2012-12-02 12:40

      Dit sal 'n lekker Kersfees geskenk wees! :)

  • roelf.strydom - 2012-12-02 11:54

    This is not a right wing army it is your army Tony, you declared war with the farmers, you warned them that Marikana is coming to the farms, you encourage your members to burn farms, you created this army! You Mr Ehrenreich took money away from the farm workers and are now paying it to the so called right wing army. Any damage to property or loss of life will be on your hands. Violence never solves anything, it only shows who's got the best army.

      TSR01 - 2012-12-02 12:42

      Tony and COSATU should be charged for any and all property damages, just like when COSATU members went riot in Cape Town in 2011 and damaged property, stores, vehicles and municipal infrastructure. Make COSATU pay, because it doesn't matter what they say or how they try to justify it, the way they go about things is ILLEGAL! Striking and refusing to work? Harmless. Striking and vandalizing property everywhere? Criminal. I would go and strike in the farmworker's places of resident and vandalize their property, but honestly, I'm not such a petty and spiteful person, unlike the strikers. Respect other people's property, and they will respect yours.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-02 14:06

      Madam Zille should drag Cosatu of to court and make sure they pay for all the damages to the farmers. Cosatu will be more carefull if they find themselves forking out millions in damage settlements

  • ernie.croucher - 2012-12-02 11:59

    Ja Tony, as st... praat grass was, was jy al drie maal deor die donkie se ho...

  • alananthonygreen - 2012-12-02 12:00

    Time to arm ourselves. Screw these people.

  • nell.kirsten - 2012-12-02 12:01

    If ass kissing to ANC big-wigs was a sport, Tony Erinreich be the Hashim Amla of it!

      dick.etheridge - 2012-12-02 12:46

      Don't quiet agree with you using Hashim Amla in your saying. He has done nothing to deserve being abused this way. World champion might be a better fit.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-12-03 13:43

      LittleRichard Nell used Hashim'name because he is the best baysman in the world so therefre erinreich is the best ass kisser. I also believe that erinreich has his name printed on the soles of all of his shoes so that one can easily find up which ANC ass he is

  • buckmckenzie1977 - 2012-12-02 12:02

    I don't seem to understand this call for a strike. How is it possible that a union can call a strike without it being a legal strike? Cosatu doesn't have representation among the workers, so it would be an illegal and unprotected strike by all workers. All the workers that go on strike can be fired on the spot for taking part as it amounts to gross insubordination and staying away without reason. But still Cosatu calls on workers to stay away. Still they feed them lies about how hard they are working for them. Tony Ehrenreich keeps on spreading lies. All I know is that the wheel has a nasty habit of turning, Mr Ehrenreich. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow..but it does turn and when it does, you will be wishing for the truth! Remember the truth!

  • Mary Milne Archibald - 2012-12-02 12:06

    What do farm workers earn in the Northern, Eastern Cape and Limpopo earn per day? Why is the strike only being called in Western Cape ? Or is Cosatu only trying to destabilise Western Cape because it is DA governed? Own up Tony.

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-02 12:22

      Right wing elements in these farms he said...DICKHEAD

  • Zahir - 2012-12-02 12:08

    And if the workers lose there jobs will cosatu and anc give them money

      phillip.marchant.52 - 2012-12-02 13:21

      Indeed, Zahir, but the truth of the matter is that more money for the worker, means more money for the fat union boss. Tony Einsteinreich claims to have the 'poor worker' at heart, but why does he forever say nothing of his beloved president's causing the poor to be become poorer, through his bloody (sic) corruption? Why is Cosatu still aligned with the ANC, when they are (apparently) so diametrically opposed in so many crucial issues? The truth of the matter is that they need each other, for their continued survival on the good gravy train of deception. It is firstly the ANC government's tenet to ensure that through their (calculated, mind, for what can otherwise explain the fact that SARS is considered the most effective tax-collection system in the world?) reverse-economic policies, there are always many more workers than available jobs, so that it lays the ground for strong union representation, making the union bosses incredibly wealthy and who in turn kick-back union member subscriptions into ANC coffers, and at the same time ensuring that a toxic atmosphere of 'revolution' is ever present. And so the cycle repeats. Well, that's their theory, but the reality is that eventually the circle turns inward, as the events of Marikana show. Well these liars know that the way to worker satisfaction is to create more jobs than workers, causing prospective employers to compete for the best worker. Hiowever, no revolution, no union, no ANC, so go figure!

  • thunder.clap.359 - 2012-12-02 12:13

    Make it a 7 day strike Cosatu.

  • Strikeback - 2012-12-02 12:15

    Tony Erenreicht must be punished by the workers if they loose money and or their employment during Tony's personal little strikes. Workers, if you are angry and feel you have been cheated by COSATU, take it out on them! Dont hold back! You will feel much better afterwards.

  • Shane Kelly - 2012-12-02 12:15

    higher wages higher food prices no win situation , cosatu does not thinks of the consequences.

  • mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-12-02 12:16

    Failure of our Government to look critically in agriculture. With the little knowledge l understand that income is not derived from tenders but is more consistent on climate changes and that makes it hard for farmers to pay high salaries. In another hand workers deserve a standard living wage to sustain their families it makes sense. Government should subsidies to meet the workers and farmers needs, because we all need them. Its wrong to look down at them while what we eat is their hard work. Hae!!!! But what do u expect when you are lead by Shower head.

      colin.dovey - 2012-12-02 12:58

      Sensible comments @Mammudi

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-12-02 13:05

      mammudi: your suggestion will become more balanced if you introduce strict control on subsidies such as a means test and an absolute limit on the family size that will be supported.

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-12-02 12:18

    Unions stopped being unions for the sake of workers in the late 1980's in SA. Since early 1990's they have been political pawns and have reaped SO MUCH MONEY these days into reserves (enough that they actually want to start a bank of their own) BY NEVER GIVING MONEY TO THE WORKERS WHEN THEY GO ON STRIKE. Tony, I think you had better watch this time because you will probably be violently assaulted by both the workers and the farmers. Your political playoff will never raise you to the levels of the grand thieves like Vavi and others before him AND THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU NOW, be sure! This continued play of treasonable incitement even against the agreements and strictures of government can only see you right inside jail as well.

  • marnus.lamprecht - 2012-12-02 12:21

    This man makes it sound as if he is sad that they could not avert the renewed strike in the western cape on tuesday, but then he calls for all farm workers to join in the strike. Doesn't make sense to people with sense...

  • neilza - 2012-12-02 12:32

    Do these people know what they are doing to the economy of the country. Higher farm worker wages mean food prices rise so nobody wins

      chris.mafunisa - 2012-12-02 13:15

      How about everyone including you low your wages to R68 per day then our Economy can be so powerful with less prices in everything OR is it the farmworkers only who deserve the 68 rand per day??

  • flyswat - 2012-12-02 12:36

    Okay, no problem. Strike. That's okay, but please just first answer me this: who is going to feed you?

  • phillip.marchant.52 - 2012-12-02 12:36

    "Despite my best efforts, Cosatu Western Cape were unable to raise the death toll beyond just two, as also I was unable to extend the burning and pillaging campaign to more than sixteen towns. Unfortunately, the madam has won round one, and she appears to have the situation well under control, and contrary to what we thought would happen, the region is still firmly under her sound governance. But we're now determined more than ever to drag this province down to the same level as those already under ANC/Costa/SACP oppression, and we will be redoubling our efforts to create as much good old communist anarchy as possible - from the safety of our bunkered palaces, of couse, so there's no need for you to worry about my safety. Er, pardon? Whose this on the line? Oh, the press! Silly me, for a moment you sounded just like Zweli's and Jay's spokesperson. So let me rephrase that, then - despite our best efforts, the unions would not be able to avert a renewed strike by farmworkers in the Western Cape on Tuesday..."

  • sharon.ackerman.77 - 2012-12-02 12:49

    Just think who is the only winners with these strikes. The unions. They take a percentage of the workers' wages. The more the worker earns, the more money the union gets. So the only way to get more money in the unions pockets is for the workers to earn more. The unions member figures have gone down the last few years. So how else are they going to fill their bank accounts?

  • veldt66 - 2012-12-02 12:51

    Explain to me how can one live on R69 a day?

      joyce.beeton - 2012-12-02 13:14

      Very difficult to survive on R69 per day, but what about the old age pensioners who have to survive on even less? What really amazes me is how anyone who earns R69 per day can even "THINK" about being so irresponsible as to have SIX CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They should be charged with child abuse.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-12-02 13:17

      You can't. But nobody can live at all if the food supply stops. You should rather address that question and the general economic stagnation and failures at the very ANC that gets voted in and of course the very same trade unions (the Cosatus) who are sabotaging economic progress in this country. And we should also not overlook the dismal economic and political situations in our neighbouring countries. Why must this economy - overstretched and overburdened as it is - continue to support those failed countries and allow their citizens to take over the job market in this country? But there is also the matter of intimidation of workers. And of course that many farm workers are much bettter off than the R69 a day some of you claim is the norm.

      raymond.buis.3 - 2012-12-02 13:23

      Maybe because they receive free water and electricity. Free accommodation. And free school in a lot of the cases.

      raymond.buis.3 - 2012-12-02 13:23

      Maybe because they receive free water and electricity. Free accommodation. And free school in a lot of the cases.

      Mary Milne Archibald - 2012-12-02 13:41

      Ask any old person who live on Pension grant.

      tigza.mafu - 2012-12-02 13:48

      Gud question veldt. R69? Dts slavery at its best. Never thought the farmworkers are earning such peanuts. They r contributing a lot in d agricultural sector yet they gt thanked with this grant. M with u COSATU.

      gawie.botha - 2012-12-02 14:06

      ,,,,,,,,,,,,voor dit het jy geleef van niks,,die dat jy die werk gevat het,,,,,,wees dankbaar!

      Alice - 2012-12-02 14:09

      Joyce.Beeton can you please provide us facts on the table as where you get all this information that you White South Africans always claim that blacks breed like flies. I need to see proof and evidence to your claim of blacks having 6-10 kids. I disagree with you totally especially in this day and age. You guys know nothing about black lifestyles, you fail to consider that majority of poor blacks live as extended families. Some would still live with all their family members, siblings, aunts, first cousins etc in the same of those that live in abject poverty make you guys think they have too many kids, whereas it's not always the case. This happens alot in most houses in the township throughout South Africa where u'l have a family of 10 living in one house.

      raymond.buis.3 - 2012-12-02 14:34

      @Alice. In 1904 the white population was sitting on about one million people currently it's about 4.5 million. The African population in south Africa in1904 was about 4 million it is currently on about forty million explain

      flyswat - 2012-12-02 14:49

      You can. Two years back I proved you can do it on R600 a month.

      Alice - 2012-12-02 15:04

      Raymond at the end of the day blacks will always be the majority because this is an African continent. Don't forget to add 3 million Basotho Nationals, 7 million Zimbaweans, 3 million Swati nationals, 3 million Nigerians, 2 Million Malawians, 2 Million Mozies who acquired SA passports fraudulently anytime between 1994-2012. They also increased the black South African population.

      Alice - 2012-12-02 15:24

      Forgot to mention that vast majority of blacks during the era you mentioned above were living in homelands 'bantustans' ,and were not classed as SA citizens. The percentage of those classed as SA citizens were those that lived in townships like SOWETO, Guguletu, Claremont( Durban) , khayamnandi (Stellenbosch) Embekweni, etc. The Apartheid gov sealed their boarders and never allowed ppl to enter SA. The small black pop that remained outside cities were reserved as working as servants for you forefathers. Is this clear now?

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-12-03 13:48

      Alice you have the correct name for what you are A Lice

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-12-02 12:53

    Those who don't yet know where to find the Cosatu leaders and instigators will make sure they know where when food security becomes an issue. Cosatu's trade union running away recently seen on the mines will be a picnic compared to what comes.

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-12-02 13:09

    Tony Ehrenreich why dont you call for peace for a change instead of always stirring up violence? Why don't you call for a new President to "lead" this country to greater heights rather than dragging us down to poverty. Why don't you call for transparency and truth instead of supporting corruption and draining the tax-payer. There is quite enough money allocated to all the Government Departments, i.e. Health, Housing etc., but it is squandered. If it weren't for NGO's operating in this country the poor would be even worse off. Get lost once and for all because you are a loser!!! (with a big mouth)

      ricardo.human1 - 2012-12-02 13:40

      Tell me friend,do you really understand what farmworkers are going through?Maybe you don't live in the same conditions.They are the people to whom the struggle must continued.In conclusion there are good and bad farmers.So if government and the bad farmers plays hard,do something to get their attention. - 2012-12-02 13:49

      @ Ricardo please specify what you are implying by doing something.

      phillip.marchant.52 - 2012-12-02 15:50

      Ricardo, Tony Ehrenreich speaks in half-truth's, which limits him to being able to convince only half-wits. Frankly, I'm surprised that one who is enamoured with the cognitive ability to read and write would find favour with him. Ehrenreich is a bitter and dangerous racist (even unto himself, sealed by an egotistical prejudice the size of a small planet), his evil permitted only in a realm where hatred, lies and deception are the qualification. Clearly many of the farm workers are suffering, but the solution that Ehrenreich offers, reminds me of the nursery rhyme which starts with "step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly...". The sad reality of Tony Ehrenreich prevailing in his quest to embarrass his beite noir Helen Zille, is that there will then be nowhere for the refugees of ANC/Cosatu tyranny to flock to for relief. The average earning of non-white workers is by far higher in the Western Cape than any other province. The same applies to genuine BEE, and no matter how much Tony and his ruling-party allies try and spin this, it remains an unquestionable statistic. Julius Malema also speaks in half-truths. The poor in South Africa have been failed by the ruling party - vote for me, so that I can nationalise the mines, and make you rich. Questionable? So why believe Julie's pal, then? They are one. They do not care a rodent's donkey for anyone but themselves, let alone the 'poor farm worker'. He's got blood on his hands - don't let any splash on to you.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-12-02 13:50

    Overseas union dues are used to pay workers when the union calls a strike, why don't they do it here? Our workers are just exploited by everybody. Then again outside our factory there is a queue of casuals who will be happy to work for R60 a day. We find work for them but trust me we don't really need them and if they demanded R150 a day we would just send them away.

  • gawie.botha - 2012-12-02 13:58

    Why do u "Strikers" then also burn down "Good Farmers" propperty!

      werner.pretorius.12 - 2012-12-02 18:30

      Hang af of jy akkomodasie en krag en kos verniet kry.

  • gawie.botha - 2012-12-02 14:03

    Tony Ehrenreic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!U think u are a "Warlord",,,,weet jy wat beteken dit my ou jong! Jy sal al die verantwoordelikheid moet dra,op die einde indien jy nog daar is,,,,almal kan klip gooi!

  • dehlia.fredericks - 2012-12-02 14:10

    cosatu are coward, they only use these uneducated, ignorant farm workers 4 their own benefit! i blieve in this saying never underestimate the POWER of stupid people in LARGE numbers the new trend of politics, use and abuse!

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2012-12-02 14:19

    The problem is that on the farms we battle as much as anyone who has useless garden boys in town if you get a good one you hang onto him because they are rare ,that is why we ,that is blacks and whites , went to school and got whatever education to keep us from being in the same boat what they are getting is reasonable and the reason those farmers are paying that amount is because we all pay that amount. How do we all know what to pay ? Very simple every year I phone the Packhouse's office that I deal with and ASK them for the new salary for farmworkers LAID DOWN BY THE GOVERNMENT. sounds like this is news to you all : LAID DOWN BY THE GOVERNMENT !!!!!!! few years they stepped in with laid down amounts which they started by doubling the workers pay. Since then farmers have had no say in the matter.....we just pay what they laid down .... Now this bloody rubbish is calling the farmers rightwingers etc . WHY SHOULD WE AGREE TO PAY MORE , WE CANT CHARGE MORE. Otherwise SA will simply import from elsewhere where the farmers receive massive subsidies so can afford to undercut us. I'm from Eastern Cape my workers live on the property .How can a strike against a farm paying what the law requires be legal ?

  • morwen.fourie - 2012-12-02 14:35

    Oliphant and Tony: you are both playing a dangerous game. Hope you can handle the consequences as the WORLD watches you.

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2012-12-02 14:39

    The laid down amount is R70 a day here in Eastern cape .They survive well on the R1500 per month .During the recent drought after paying my staff I only had R1500 to live on , I kept them going on that amount had it been more I would have had to retrench . If they dont pitch on Tuesday I consider that to mean they've given notice . O and of course no xmas bonus . Wont they just be chuffed - 2012-12-02 15:13

      Richard as a city boy, big up to you and the rest of the farming community. Sometimes I wonder and think how you guys put up with all of this

  • pat.aldrich.96 - 2012-12-02 15:28

    And if the wine farming are destroyed where will this fool gets his dop on a Friday or the wine for his weekend party. Bloody no good rubbish

  • PointBlank - 2012-12-02 16:21

    tony's trying to justify the actions of his thugs..

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-12-02 17:12

    Loodpil vir die pyn!

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2012-12-02 17:49

    Brendan, thank you , Senator Malan told me back in 1960 that " A farmer lives in hope and dies in dispair " ,I thought it was funny .... When the pineapple co-op was up n running they were having a toi -toi over R80 p.m. the manager showed me that in the Phillipines the workers were paid the equivalent to R40 in this country . Recently I heard that we are paying higher than other but this government itself pushed the wages to where they are ,so they must have taken everthing into account to give them a good wage ,now that's not good enough for this lot. Ive heard tat the labourers on the farms are'nt the ones involved but those that are lying around the place jobless for whatever reason and expect a wage that's big enough to last all year on a couple of months work.I have a bulldozer pushing platforms for multispan green houses costing near R40,000. Now if there's an increase then its no longer viable they'll be finished by midweek there you go. Whatever one achieves the locusts ( rabble), will break down .

  • Maxodin - 2012-12-02 22:22

    Should the protest turn violent Please bill cosatu for any property damage and arrest tony immediately for terrorism or organizing a violent protest and kick cosatu out of Cape Town.

  • Notrax123 - 2012-12-03 10:42

    Ai Ai. Ehrenreich, Right Wing - if you cannot say aany thing sensible..... rather keep your poop hole shut!

  • pages:
  • 1