Farmers, unions set to meet on De Doorns

2013-01-11 13:11

De Doorns - Police continued patrols on the N1 at De Doorns ahead of talks between farmers and unions on Friday, following violent protests earlier in the week.

The national road, which remained closed to traffic, was quiet.

Rocks, glass and spent rubber bullet casings littered the road following running clashes between officers and protesters the previous two days.

The talks between individual farmers and unions were expected to take place near the town later on Friday.

The Cape Orchards Company (COC) representing 12 farms in De Doorns agreed to the talks with, among others, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) and the Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union of SA (Bawusa).

"These discussions are separate to the engagements we've been having with Agri-SA," Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said in a media briefing on Thursday.

"What we are now talking here is a deal with the table grape (farmers) and some related groups..." he said.

COC chairperson Gerhard de Kock said he invited 28 farmers to Friday's meeting.

"I believe that the groups should come forward, as they've indicated to me that they are prepared to talk about a settlement deal," said de Kock.

On Thursday, police used a water cannon and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse thousands of strikers who pelted them with stones.

The strike by seasonal workers to have their R69 daily wage increased to R150 - which began on August 27 last year, and was called off on 4 December - resumed on Wednesday.

  • Rob - 2013-01-11 13:19

    I wonder if Minister Oliphant will be present.... after all she is the one who authorized the disgusting minimum wage in the first place.... will her silence continue?

      kalabafazi - 2013-01-11 13:24

      Oliphant has her head so far up her butt that even when she speaks we can't hear a thing.

      nico.eksteen.7 - 2013-01-11 15:19

      Last I heard she was in the Kruger National Park entertaining tourists.

  • ayencee.dicks - 2013-01-11 13:20

    blah blah blah

      kalabafazi - 2013-01-11 13:31

      The wages have been set by the anc government. What good is a meeting between parties that can't effect any change in the wages.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-01-11 14:37

      Exactly Kalabafzi - the ANC Government chose to determine that farm workers are almost like Domestic Servants and lumped them into Sectoral Determination agreements which the Unions affilaited to Cosatu agreed to last March. So if the Unions are stirring up trouble, the Minister should have the likes of Cosatu's "Big" Tony arrested for interefring in their business and inciting farm workers to break the agreement with the Government. The farmers have little say in the deal. Remember folks, real economics means lower wages to get higher profits to earn higher taxes to the State to fund those things you know they want to spend money on..... Need I say more?

  • boet.magundana - 2013-01-11 13:23

    The boet says: There's no wisdom in tiptoeing around issues one is supposed to face head on. At issue here is the paltry R69 per day that farmworkers are getting. Can one farmer try to live on that amount and see if that would work. Didn't think so!! What worries the hell out of me are those who suggest that the farmers are justified in what they pay the workers. I don't agree with the violence and the trashing of property though!!

      nibiru.sekkiejorge - 2013-01-11 13:33

      If you don't want to work for a "paltry R69 per day" don't

      riad.mahomed - 2013-01-11 13:42

      @boet.magundana: funny you ask such a question if a farmer can live on just R69/day. Maybe you should ask the elderly since they are living on a grant that the government give them which is less than R40/day (ie: R1,200 pm) yet do we see them striking for more money? What’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander, so how about fighting for our elderly as well........

      boet.magundana - 2013-01-11 13:43

      I'm expecting sober arguments to the issues I raised broer, or is that request beyond your abilities??

      richard.hipkin - 2013-01-11 13:49

      @boet, a recent finding showed that the MAJORITY of farmers were paying MORE then R69 a day and in MOST cases WC farmers were paying more then other provinces in SA... So again the question of political influence comes to the forefront.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-11 14:14

      Well there are a few thousand workers lucky enough to get R69 per day, it is still money. For those lucky few there are millions of desperate people ready to fill the shoes of those farmworkers who aren't happy. The ANC is always talking about job creation. To almost double the wages of farmworkers is going to destroy jobs not create them

      kalabafazi - 2013-01-11 15:57

      I think boet has has cracked his first bottle of wine and can no longer participate is his expected "sober argument". I'm sure he will be back on Monday with more thought provoking statements.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2013-01-11 13:30

    Farmworkers just must'nt blow all their salaries at the bottle store. As soon as they get paid they go straight to the bottle store.

      simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-11 15:43

      So would you if you had to face a life of misery.

  • wynand.viljoen.54 - 2013-01-11 13:39

    The saddest thing is the photos on news24 of the youth taking part in the riots. Why aren't they in school? Then they can get educated and dont need to riot!?

      richard.hipkin - 2013-01-11 13:50

      A reporter reported yesterday that where he was the majority of "strikers" were children as young as 10...

      richard.hipkin - 2013-01-11 13:52

  • tina.schilling1 - 2013-01-11 13:39

    Take note of this info: Letter Cape Times today written by Michael Bagraim Chair of Cape Chamber of Commerce and a practicing labour lawyer says " Strikes don't add up - ... extremely strange that workers in the farming sector THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY earn the same money. The W Cape in fact, seems to be paying higher wages than most of the farming ops outside of the province. WHY IS IT THAT WE SEE THIS SHARP REACTION IN THE CAPE ONLY?"

      darryl.maze1 - 2013-01-11 13:58

      Because it is politically motivated by the ANC.

      ben.l.johnson.7 - 2013-01-11 16:25

      Because the DA runs the province and the ANC dont. Just see what is going on in Midvaal, another DA run place that the ANC now wants to incorporate into the Ekhuruleni Metro. I look at my two year old daughter who has yet to develop the concept of sharing... so similar to the ANC cry babies

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-11 14:07

    It takes violent strikes to get them to talk??

      warren.rodel - 2013-01-11 15:22

      How exactly, when it is all burnt down and gone what is there to talk about?

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2013-01-11 14:15

    Farmworkers can live reasonably well on that wage one of mine has a motorbike the other takes nearly a thousand rand to his parents in Transkei i was forced the live on less than a thousand for nearly two tears wile paying my staff waiting from day to day for the drought to break for water . There is nothing bad about R69 a day if you havent got it . Boet if you think it is paltry then rather shut up because you know nothing of the subject. Noone forces anyone to work on a farm if the farm pays R69 a day so what, you dont like, then dont work there ,remember these arent farm labourers they are a bunch of down and out loafers the workers were the ones being targeted by this undiciplined scum of the earth .Look how they are treating the police. They richly deserve what they get . But you of course will side with them in you blissful ignorance untill there is no food to buy or you cannot afford to buy any. Trouble with S.A. is only that you havent starved yet .Zambia , Mozambique and others are taking away our farmers they have felt the empty tummy , it's not nice.

  • falkenark - 2013-01-11 14:15

    All these protests and strikes appears to have become a trend. It looks to me like it is running the economy into the ground.

  • falkenark - 2013-01-11 14:16

    It's not that it takes violent protests to get them to talk, its the fact that they seem to not have the ability to protest peacefully.

  • annie.israel.50 - 2013-01-11 14:49

    There are millions UNEMPLOYED and these strikers are doing more damage - BE DAMN WELL GREATFUL YOU ALL HAVE WORK = disgusting that there were children pushed to the "front line" - This "out of control" politicians should take responsibility for this carnage = the notorious bluddy ANC!!

  • Shane Kelly - 2013-01-11 15:48

    Don't like the PAY, simple get the f#*#k out, and let people that need a little cash to feed there families in.

  • ben.l.johnson.7 - 2013-01-11 16:22

    Yawn.... the ANC circus continues. I think our alleged leaders need to read "How to run a country, for Dummies" It will hopefully be simple enough for them to understand

  • thozi - 2013-01-11 16:41

    I understand that the ANC has at last spoken against the current strike in the Western Cape. Do you think somebody has explained to them that, by sending in COSATU's Ehrnreich to make the WC 'ungovernable" is actually harming the whole country?

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