Sugar workers to strike for 10.5% wage increase

2014-05-26 17:11

Some 5 000 sugar workers will embark on a strike for higher wages tomorrow, Tongaat Hulett Limited said.

“Wage negotiations have reached a deadlock,” spokesperson Michelle Jean-Louis said in an email to Sapa today.

“In terms of the negotiation process, an official strike notice was issued on 23 May. Having served this notice, employees are entitled to embark on a protected strike with effect from Tuesday 27 May.”

Employees from Tongaat Hulett and Illovo Sugar are demanding a 10.5% wage increase, while the employers’ final offer stands at 8.5%.

“Union representatives and sugar industry management are in meetings today as the process of finding a satisfactory outcome for all stakeholders involved continues,” said Jean-Louis.

No further details were provided.

Tongaat Hulett also released its financial year results.

In the report, chief executive Peter Staude said its total sugar production had grown by 170 000 tons to 1 424m tons, compared to 1 006m tons in 2010/2011.

SA produced 634 000 tons, Mozambique 249 000 tons, Swaziland 53 000 tons of raw sugar equivalent, and Zimbabwe produced 488 000 tons of sugar.

He said the South African sugar operations, including agriculture, milling, refining, and various downstream activities recorded an operating profit of R340m.

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