Farm strike suspended – unions

2013-01-23 10:40

A deadly farm strike in the Western Cape has been suspended after three weeks of labour unrest, farm industry groups and unions have said.

The groups said workers had for now given up on their demands for higher wages and told industry representatives they would suspend the strike that saw protesters shut highways and damage farms in the area around Cape Town.

“We have called off the strike,” said union leader Nosey Pieterse, general secretary of the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry, the agricultural workers’ union.

Industry groups Agri Western Cape and Agri SA said farmers had received notice the labour action had been suspended.

Farm workers staged destructive protests to demand a doubling of their daily minimum wage to R150 from the R69 basic rate set by the government in the labour-intensive sector.

One bystander was killed in the protests where police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up violent street rallies.

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