Rainbow Chickens: violent Strike enters fourth week

2011-06-21 00:00

A STRIKE at Rainbow Chickens, which has allegedly led to houses being set alight and a worker being killed, has entered its fourth week.

Rainbow workers downed tools across the country except in Rustenburg on May 26 after declaring a wage dispute.

It is alleged that at least four houses belonging to non-striking workers were set alight in Mpumalanga township this month.

It is also alleged that a striking worker was killed after inhaling teargas fired by police at the company’s gates in Hammarsdale on May 30.

The striking workers are members of the National Union of Food, Beverage, Wine, Spirit and Allied Workers and the Food and Allied Workers’ Union.

Workers at the processing department are demanding an increase of 11,3% while farm workers are demanding 14,9%. The employer is offering 7,2% and 7,8% respectively.

Said Rainbow’s human resource and corporate affairs director Steven Heath, “We told them that our offers will only be effective for those who are not participating in the strike, but those who went on strike will only be offered six percent and 6,5%. They are also demanding that their working hours be reduced to 40 from 45 hours per week without their salaries being cut.” He confirmed there have been attacks on the homes of non-striking workers and attempts to petrol-bomb company buses.

Union negotiator Sbusiso Mabuza confirmed the attacks on “scab workers”, saying the strike will continue until the dispute is resolved.

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