Farmworkers end strike

2012-12-04 20:32

Johannesburg - The strike by farmworkers in the Western Cape has ended, Cosatu said on Tuesday evening.

Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said in a statement: "An agreement put forward by Agri SA contains the basis of the accord that ends this strike."

He said Agri SA, which represented farmers, "essentially commits" itself to negotiations to be held farm-by-farm. Talks would be about the wage demand of a R150 per day, and a profit-sharing scheme.

"This agreement means that workers will return to work and join any union of their choice," said Ehrenreich.

"These unions will negotiate with the farmers on the different farms."

If no agreement was reached by 9 January, workers on those farms would strike again.

"This agreement represents a huge victory for farmworkers," he said.

Table grape harvesters started protesting in De Doorns at the start of November for R150 per day and improved living conditions.

Most earned between R69 and R75 a day.

The protests soon spread to 15 other towns, leading to violence and two deaths.

Representatives from Agri SA, the agriculture department and unions were expected to brief the media on Wednesday.

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-12-04 20:42

    Bang gate!

      lownabester - 2012-12-04 22:12

      I know 2 people that are not very happy tonight, Fransman and Tony. They wanted chaos. but no luck this time.

      frank.vankaapstad - 2012-12-05 08:45

      If the cost of inputs rise, so will the cost of output. Food price inflation is on its way, especially in labour intensive farming such as fruit.

  • - 2012-12-04 20:44

    No thanks to the government. They just watched from a distance. I hope they took notes though............

      Onke Mdingi - 2012-12-04 21:02

      'Strike ends, farmworkers can join any union (that will negotiate for them farm by farm) of their choice, if no agreement the strike will resume by 9 January'. It's nothing but COSATU's propaganda so as to be seen as concerned about the plight of poor farmworkers just for Mangaung's sake.

      jakalas.kruger - 2012-12-04 21:09

      I wonder if this Tony Ehrenreich clown even believes himself when he utters this nonsense.

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-12-05 08:48 They did take notes, the only questions are: what were their denominations and how much did they take?

  • Danie Gerber - 2012-12-04 20:47

    I hope all the farmers is going to start charging all the workers for lodging, food and transport. maybe the farmers must start striking, then we will see what is going to happens to all their workers and the rest of South Africa.

  • rob.fleming.104 - 2012-12-04 20:58

    I foresee machinery replacing workers very soon on farms.

      blip.noodlum - 2012-12-04 21:35

      Can't be done with table grapes.

      tinymeister - 2012-12-04 22:53

      @kenson.ben.7 - Mechanization might not displace the human input it its entirety, but it will surely remove the need to import a temporary workforce during labour intense harvesting seasons. The few key roles that needs filling will be happily occupied by the local permanent work force, who, in general, receive far and beyond the minimum government suggested remunerations. The majority of which only stayed away from work during the strikes because of intimidation. And even though full mechanization of the grape industry is impossible, the available options for wine farms, surely constituting the majority of the industry, are numerous and financially justifiable. The obvious repercussions pertaining to unemployment will be note worthy to say the least.

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-12-05 08:53

      rob: I have no doubt that you are correct and that mechanisation will it has at most supermarket check-outs. But have you not noticed that the number of tellers and helpers standing around has increased? Only when the 'demand for jobs' changes to a 'desire to work for a living' will much of anything change in SA

  • ad.madock - 2012-12-04 21:01

    With Christmas looming they are forced back to work .Unions of this country always use their members as guinea pigs while they drive luxury cars and live in mansions.Tony Ehrenreich what will you be doing on Christmas day while these people have nun to eat? All because of you!

  • paul.chick.501 - 2012-12-04 21:19

    Love the sign in the picture "we demond"....??

      sean.goldie.9 - 2012-12-04 21:48

      I agree, these idiots need to get an education and learn to spell properly before they can demand more wages, what they are being paid is all they are worth, if they stayed in school instead of burning them down at every opportunity they may have qualified for an increase, then again they would not be doing the jobs that require no brain cells at all.

      dino.martino.14 - 2012-12-04 21:49

      The ANC makes very sure the masses are uneducated. How else would they guarantee re-election?

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-12-04 21:40

    What is this about, does dear Tony pretends he did it, it was always there. Most of the farmers are paying more. I think the farm workers decided to go back to work before they have no Christmas. Nothing for you Tony go and help your friend with the nominations. Big problems.

  • lunga.matsikechangu - 2012-12-04 21:40

    Bused in unemployable thugs acting as farmworkers

  • ad.madock - 2012-12-04 21:46

    Now atleast they give meaning to the name LATE HARVEST!

      zip.reeper - 2012-12-05 02:26

      bring die dop stelsel terug

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-12-04 22:01

    Strike all you like R70 per day wil be the number. If you want more, ask government for subsidies, because farmers can't pay more. Get that in your thick brain or move to Zim where Cosatu can strike themselves to death.

      Michael - 2012-12-05 06:38

      @kensong - Your bad spelling is most likely as a result of the outcomes based education system. I also think altus sounds too angry and bitter, but you've got to learn to spell!

  • Mduduzi Nkosi Sindane - 2012-12-04 22:29

    Sean what ever your name is you are so stupid you should be thanking God for every thing that you have.NX!

  • johan.vanheerden.12 - 2012-12-04 22:38

    All Cosatu wanted was that the workers can join unions now and get membership fees in, that's why they jumped on this one. The thugs bussed in are gone now and real workers must now pay up just like the farmers. Remember when a farmer cuts down on labour many will lose jobs AND homes as they stay for free on the farms

  • declan.kelly.54 - 2012-12-04 23:14

    Workers strike and get paid more, the Rand value drops, the cost of living increases, the extra money they earn is worthless, and they strike next year again for more pay. And the spiral gets smaller and smaller.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-12-05 08:03

    Dont be surprised if more mechanisation starts to be put into the farms, not only for striking disruptions but also to kerb the destruction of farmers property.

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