Fawu 'hopes no members were involved' in Ceres arson

2015-10-09 18:08
The Ceres fruit factory that had been set alight. (Julian Jansen, Twitter)

The Ceres fruit factory that had been set alight. (Julian Jansen, Twitter)

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Cape Town - The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) on Friday said it “hoped no members are involved” in an arson incident which razed a Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) office building on Thursday.

“While we don’t know who is responsible, we have repeatedly said we don’t condone violence or damage to property,” Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola said.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the circumstances surrounding a building being set alight were under investigation. The incident comes three weeks after a Ceres fruit factory was set alight.

CFG workers have been striking for almost two weeks, demanding a wage increase.

The company has been engaging with Fawu in annual wage negotiations since July, but no agreement has yet been reached.

Fawu wants a 12,5% wage increase and a profit-sharing scheme for workers. CFG is offering 7,5% and other increased benefits.

Masemola said while the parties had not yet reached a settlement, it was hoped middle ground would be found next week.

“We want to end the strike. It is hoped an agreement can be reached at a sitting on Tuesday,” he said.

However, CFG managing director Francois Malan said the union was not acting in good faith as they “change their wage demands like a see-saw”.

“Negotiations in good faith are a prerequisite to settling a dispute of this nature. However, to achieve this, it is of great concern that FAWU has continuously revised their wage demand upwards and downwards during the negotiations.” 

Read more on:    fawu  |  cape town  |  labour

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