Farmworker strike turns violent, 50 arrested

2013-01-09 13:39
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Farm protests in Western Cape

Hundreds of protesters resumed wage strikes resulting in clashes between farmworkers and the police. See the pictures.

De Doorns - At least 50 people were arrested in the Western Cape on Wednesday when renewed farmworker strikes for better wages turned violent.

Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said riot police had been deployed to contain the situation in the Boland farming town of De Doorns.

"We are taking action, and arrests are being effected," Traut said, adding that "in the region of 50" people had been detained since the protests began early on Wednesday.

N1 closed

Protesters stoned cars, prompting the police to close roads. The N1 was closed outside De Doorns, forcing motorists to use alternative routes.

Farmworkers said they would not return to the vineyards on Wednesday afternoon as the situation had become too volatile.

De Doorns was also at flashpoint two months ago when Boland farmworkers went on strike over low pay and poor working conditions.

Hopes were dashed this week that talks organised by the department of labour would yield an agreement and avert another round of protests.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  agriculture  |  labour  |  protests  |  farmworker protests  |  strikes
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