Farmworkers to hand over 'peace policy'

2013-01-18 11:10

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.

  • jacques.devilliers.16 - 2013-01-18 11:19

    Its too late to hand over a peace policy...the damage is done.

      denis.delaport - 2013-01-18 11:33

      mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, let me think, Unions, Strike, and a Peace Policy?, in AFRICA?, i dont think so?

      zambezi.river - 2013-01-18 12:37

      Black labour, White guilt !

      fussed.anderson - 2013-01-18 13:00

      The march was led by the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry, followed closely by the White Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry, naturaly.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2013-01-18 11:21

    Who are the trying now to kid. Go back to work or face the consequences of retrenchment. Some stupid idiot looking for brownie points. This has been going on far too long and your strike is illegal so the choice still remains, work or bugger off, which do they not understand.

  • daniel.motlhatlhedi - 2013-01-18 11:21

    farmworker are the mostxploited workers in our country they deserve better. Farmers pay pay

      brian.dureuck - 2013-01-18 11:57

      xploited?? look at the pic! the farm worker can't even spell - "We demond R150!" ... these idiots are lucky to get paid! now stop BOER GENOCIDE FFS!

      billyandrew.croucamp.5 - 2013-01-18 12:04

      look at the picture...they cant even spell demand, and they lay down the law on what they the lot of them....

      Killbot79 - 2013-01-18 12:05

      Stop killing the farmers!

      eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-18 13:11

      Daniel Be a pel and help the farmworkers.Pay the farm workers what they want! Pay! Pay! Out of your own pocket. R150 per day per person. If you do that, you can get a nodgy badge and say that you are cute. How's that for negotiations.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-01-18 13:49

      Yet the exploited farmer workers can afford Adidas...

      oliver.lankes.3 - 2013-01-18 14:24

      Actually waiters and waitresses are the most exploited workers. Most of them don't even get a basic pay and only get their tip.

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 22:05

      The 7 of you moron perpetuate hate and racial tensions. The rubbish you keep uttering here is not helping but adding fuel to the fire. News24 has became popular platform for you to display your coldheartedness. You must know this then; for every action the is an equal reaction. It may not happen to you, but think about the most valnarable like the old farmers living alone in those farms. People are reading your comments, and they are generalising the thinking. You think you are untouchable nhe!! Well, jst wait and see!

  • fayaad.galiel - 2013-01-18 11:26

    Hope this works after so many Innocent senior citizen have been brutally murdered...

  • fayaad.galiel - 2013-01-18 11:30

    Hope this works after so many Innocent senior citizen have been brutally murdered...

  • angelanair3 - 2013-01-18 11:37

    PEACEFUL? The violent savage brutes - they dont know the meaning of peace even if it bit them in the rear end! Police should lock them all up - scrutinise video footage and find they will have to keep them all in jail permanently........ These non workers are taking too much advantage - fire the lot!

  • flynn.govender - 2013-01-18 12:03

    Farm workers, take what you'll get because you'll will end up just like the Angloplat workers - re-trenched

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 20:32

      I wish they retrench all of them, that way they can go bankrupt (the farmers) and close down. Then ANC systematical nationalise those farms. Those apples won't pick themselves Flynn, dnt be an idiot.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-01-21 00:03

      @Yanga - their are a lot of white people who don't have jobs and would be very happy to earn a few bucks a day, so your comment is not even logical. Also if the farms are nationalised, they will end up being unproductive junk heaps like all those others that were redistributed by goverment. White farmers are willing to help black farmers and teach them how to farm on large scale, only few have succeeded, so go claim those abandoned farms that lay empty because those who got the land stripped it of everything and left it because they don't know how to manage a farm and they don't want to invest in a long term project. Farming isn't profitable overnight it take years to make a profit and then to maintain it through floods, fires and even protests. Doesn't sound so glamouress now does it.

  • troffel - 2013-01-18 12:03

    To little to late. Millions of Rand's worth of damage already done. You reap what you sow.

  • Daniel Mah - 2013-01-18 12:15

    shame i guess their broke now hence the 'peace policy'

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 14:29

      Yes. Someday the farmers would be broke too an propose 'decent wage policy' . No harvest, no exports no money remember. Their money (boere/farmers) doesn't grow from trees you knw!!

  • walter.laurie - 2013-01-18 12:25

    There are 3 main reasons why we believe the Cape should NOT continue on as a province of SA: • The unfair taxation policies (distribution of Revenue Act,) which mean that 75% of our tax-Rands go toward propping up failed provinces up North… • A divide & conquer campaign of continued racial polarization aimed at dividing the people of the Cape along racial lines and turn us against eachother… • The increasingly violent political intimidation against the Cape and threats/acts of destabalisation … The only way that the Western Cape can escape & survive this continued abuse is to govern ourselves, either as a Federal state within SA, or as an Independent nation.

      kosie.nel.14 - 2013-01-18 12:54

      Are you going to defend the border?

      walter.laurie - 2013-01-18 13:06

      @Kosie - if need be, sure!

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 14:14

      Walter, the is a town(independent state according to its people) named Lenasia somewhere up north. Its for people who think the way you do, go there and be happy.

      kosie.nel.14 - 2013-01-18 15:15

      Ai, Yanga, schooling not up to scratch, it is called Orania, Lenasia is where the ANC cadres sold the government land to the "not so wide awake".

      walter.laurie - 2013-01-18 16:15

      Wow, some people just don't understand the concept of state Federalism, or just refuse to understand it.. "Orania" has now become widely accepted as the term that idiots throw around in order to stifle debate.. The Western Cape deserves better, as does the rest of SA - and you all know it.

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 20:25

      @Kosie. Orania, oranjie, whtever the name of these places are. I dnt even care to knw.

  • Richard - 2013-01-18 12:55

    The majority of these "Farm Workers" are not even actual Farm Workers. This is a whole political agenda playing off before us. Cosatu's Tony, and other comrades are using this to fuel hate toward farmers. The Farm killings are probably going to reach new highs. Go check out "Die Volksblad" and see what Nathi (Police minister) said to Farm victims in the freestate. "it's all a political stunt" he said after hundreds of letter from farm attack victims was delivered to his. Can you believe it? Such drivel coming from his racist mouth? There is another agenda behind all off this!

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-18 13:05

    Peace? After you have already caused the death of another? Peace my &*^%. You don’t know the meaning of the word. "We don't want to disturb the N1 because it's a national road and we understand that." It's already closed for how long. Yet again you do NOT understand and are once again spinning a lot of lies!" "We want peace on both sides. We want to negotiate," And who are going to cover the loss of the farmers production? You fawu, cosatu and bawsi and all the ban-wagon jumpers are busy victimising the farmers, many of whom will not be able to pay any higher amounts. You want the 200 000 the be unionised in order to make more money and push forward your own agenda. Your wheel will turn for all that you are doing and plotting against others. The farmworkers are "not open to negotiation" so what is the use of striking? fawu, cosatu and bawsi start paying the farmworkers out of your own pockets. That is the least you can do for all the lies you are spreading amongst yourselves each due to its own agenda's and the lies you keep spreading to others. Stop bleedy the economy due to your own greed.

  • alex.richards.94064 - 2013-01-18 13:15

    sell the farms and get a better safer and stable life in a civilized place. Botswana, namibia, australia

  • tiaan.truter - 2013-01-18 13:23

    "trying a new strategy" wait so being violent was your first option...bunch of stupid animals.

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 14:05

      One day when you live in a shack/trailer in Coronation Park or Villienvokpark (or whtever the hellhole is), you will knw who the real 'animals' are.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-01-21 00:07

      @Yanga - be very careful what you wish for Yanga, you are right, we can be animals, and if that day comes you will not like the result. We will survive despite your best efforts, and we will be stronger and tougher. Get over yourself and that chip on your shoulder before it bites you in the a$$.

  • Piet_Hannibol - 2013-01-18 13:34

    Mm, me thinks these peaceful strikers read the papers that 14000 of their comrades are now without jobs so they got a beeeg skrik nê.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-18 14:52

      The callibre of people involved here you are more likely to see at a shebeen getting drunk than reading a newspaper. Probably most of them can't even read.

  • johanna.vandokkum - 2013-01-18 13:36

    "peaceful strike policy' but after they've torched valuable fruit-packing sheds leading directly to the loss 500 farm jobs? If they earn more than R110/per day they LOSE their government benefits which are worth a LOT MORE than R150 daily pay-packets. They will lose their child-benefits and rights to HOP-housing etc. Do they know that?

  • john.plaatjies.16 - 2013-01-18 14:39

    People got the right to strike but why do they destroy property and structures that they need to work to get paid for. And the union leaders that fuel the strikes also not got paid the time the strike is on we will see how many will tell the workers to strike. I do respect peoples rights to strike but the strikers must respect other people rights and do it peacefully. And please don't destroy other people property

  • maryann.deagrela - 2013-01-18 14:50

    stating that three people had been killed in nine farm attacks this year. But we not even a month into the year yet??

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2013-01-18 15:06

    So they want peace do they???? Well give them all a piece of soft-nose straight between the eyes...............bottom line.

  • philip.darne - 2013-01-18 15:46

    Oh F#$K off you criminals!

  • longile.bongani - 2013-01-18 21:24

    There is nothing peacefull about you thugs, you prevent innocent people from getting to work, sick people cannot get treatment. You destroy, you steal and you burn. That is all you are good for. You dont deserve R10 a day ! No farmer in their right mind would ever take on any of the thugs taking part in this process

      yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-18 21:41

      I wonder why news24 has not removed your verbal diarrhea yet! Nonsense nonse nonsense!!

      ernest.lwandle - 2013-01-19 00:54

      Wher did you grew up my black brother and how old are you,it beieve you still have a very long way to go inorder to understand who you are and how long you!v been confussed under the sun wish you well house-classed-slave.

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