Farmworkers to hand over 'peace policy'

2013-01-18 11:10
Protesting farmworkers (File, supplied)

Protesting farmworkers (File, supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Striking farmworkers will march in De Doorns on Friday morning to hand over a "peaceful strike policy", the Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) said.

"We are going to the police and farmers to give them this policy. We are still continuing with the strike but are trying a new strategy," Fawu shop steward Monwabisi Kondile told Sapa.

"The whole of South Africa thinks we are criminals, but we are not. It's not about violence to resolve something. We are coming with peace to resolve things."

The shop steward said their demand stood at R150 for a daily wage. However they were keen to negotiate, even looking at between R120 and R130.

"We want peace on both sides. We want to negotiate," he said.

Staying away from N1

About 3 000 workers were expected to take part in the march, which would start around 11;00, pass the De Doorns police station and end at the Hex River Valley Table Grapes Association.

Kondile said workers would use a back road for the march instead of the N1 highway, which remained closed on Friday due to the protest action.

"We don't want to disturb the N1 because it's a national road and we understand that."

Thousands of striking workers marched for kilometres along the N1 on Thursday afternoon, braving extreme heat to protest for an increase in their daily wage and a coherent land programme.

The march was led by the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (Bawsi), which represents a large number of non-unionised workers.

The strike, which started last year, was suspended in December but resumed last Wednesday in various towns in the province.

About 200 000 permanent and seasonal workers - dept

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) announced a week-long suspension of the strike on Tuesday, on condition that Agri SA honour commitments to "local-level" agreements and agree to stop the victimisation of workers.

Cosatu's Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the suspension excluded De Doorns, because workers there were standing by their demands and were not open to negotiation.

The agriculture department estimated the number of permanent and seasonal workers in the province at around 200 000.

Of these, only 5% were said to be unionised.

The Transvaal Agriculture Union (Tau-SA) said it feared the strike, which had often been violent, would result in increased violent crime on farms.

"Unfounded accusations blaming farmers exploiting their employees, illegal evictions, or the accusation that farmers have stolen the land to which they hold title deeds, creates a perception that farmers are a criminals who need to be shown no mercy," said Tau-SA deputy president Henry Geldenhuys.

"This is reflected in the extreme cruelty which characterises farm attacks... Farmers need to ensure that their security arrangements are in place."

Public hearings

Geldenhuys said farmers had no choice but to accept responsibility for their own safety, stating that three people had been killed in nine farm attacks this year.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Thursday said it was investigating over 20 complaints of brutality against farmworkers by the police, farmers and private security.

The labour department was holding an extra week of public hearings in the province to assist in the determination of a new minimum wage for the sector.

Hearings had already taken place in Grabouw, Paarl, De Doorns and Robertson, with the last two to be held in Oudtshoorn and Vredendal.

Department spokesperson Mokgadi Pela said an announcement on the new minimum wage determination was expected next month, with effect from March 1.
- SAPA
Read more on:    fawu  |  cosatu  |  sahrc  |  agri sa  |  tony ehrenreich  |  cape town  |  agriculture  |  labour  |  farmworker protests  |  strikes
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
55 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.