W Cape farm workers set to strike

2013-01-04 16:01

Cape Town - Farm workers in the Western Cape will take to the streets next week following failed pay negotiations with Agri-SA and government, Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Friday.

"We're at the point where the mandate from workers is to resume the strike on 9 January 2013," said Ehrenreich.

He said Agri-SA and individual farmers had not offered much in terms of negotiations, and workers had no choice but to continue their industrial action.

Workers are demanding pay of R150 a day. Many are currently earning under R80 a day.

The strike was suspended in 2012, following an undertaking that negotiations would continue between workers' representatives and individual farmers.

This had apparently proved unsuccessful.

At least two people were killed during protests in farming areas between 27 August and 4 December last year.

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-01-04 16:14

    Strikers should be kept on camera and those that resort to violence, looting and malicious damage to property must be arrested on the spot!!!!

      brandon.styles.14 - 2013-01-04 17:05

      Alicia, I just you want to shut up and disappear. You once said how you detest the previous goverment and how you marched shoulder to shoulder with Helen Zilla against them, now this is what you get for marching for them and voting for the ANC. So just shutup and suck it up, thats what you wanted.

      marc.schnehage - 2013-01-04 18:06

      Arrested? How about shot?

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-01-04 18:17

      Brandon, I wonder if you could tell Helen Zille to shut up too, and whether you can follow up on your command. Ever heard of the right to freedom of expression? That is what you are exercising by writing your views. Alicia does not have lesser rights than you. Given that you cannot enforce the command, I suggest that you live and let live. Leornardb1, the ANC is desperate to wrestle control of the WC. You are right, farmworkers are just tools in their hands as they try to further their political agenda. Tony can't wait to be the Premier of CT

      Robin - 2013-01-04 18:26

      Go back to school you striking fools!!

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2013-01-04 19:27

      This COSATU are the noose around SA's neck.. If they weren't busy defending the jobs of the poor quality teaching, many of these workers would have got a better education and would be creating jobs elsewhere. Inspect all the schools, sack the dead wood and then hike teachers' salaries to attract quality applicants.. COSATU's farm boycott will only stoke the unemployment they partly create with their pushes for tougher labour red tape.

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2013-01-04 19:34

      This COSATU are the noose around SA's neck.. If they weren't busy defending the jobs of the poor quality teaching, many of these workers would have got a better education and would be creating jobs elsewhere. Inspect all the schools, sack the dead wood and then hike teachers' salaries to attract quality applicants.. COSATU's farm boycott will only stoke the unemployment they partly create with their pushes for tougher labour red tape.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-05 08:27

      although a little off the topic no racist comments from ssmaroneng today. Whats happening turned a new leaf for the new year LOL?

  • rowan.maulson - 2013-01-04 16:17

    Awesome.... Again, at R150 per day most of these farms will no longer be able to stay running... so your demand will end up with you earning NOTHING. Idjits

      TSR01 - 2013-01-04 18:16

      R150 a day is more than I earned when I started my first job in the IT profession. That's R4,200 a MONTH for what? PICKING FRUIT!!!! Maybe I shouldn't have studied at all, and just worked as a farmhand, and expect the world for nothing. TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, WANT, WANT, WANT! How's about they shut up and work hard to earn money like everyone else. If they don't like the job, look for other work!

      paul.burger.50 - 2013-01-04 20:21

      The farmers are only gonna mechanise , the workers will lose their jobs and the farmers will still make money. Well done workers keep on striking you'll end up with nothing.

      laknyam.menkam - 2013-01-05 01:30

      I think that the land must be take back to the natives of this country (Africans)

      theMichaelHawthorne - 2013-01-05 10:59

      to the previous commentor, only the khoi san are natives to South Africa so unless you are Khoi San I suggest you shut your filthy trap.

      TSR01 - 2013-01-05 12:48

      laknyam.menkam, I think humankind should give the Earth back to its creator - whether that creator was God, aliens, or the natural universe. Humankind should just LEAVE! That's a great mindset for ignorant idiots, but guess what? We're all stuck on the big ball of mud together, so do shut up and try get along, okay? ;)

      zamani.ndlovu.5203 - 2013-01-05 15:45

      @TSR01 don't u think those ppl ar working hard enough?.I bet u are one of the most stupidity person in the whole IT fraternity.dd u completed yo degree or u ar just on a certificate with a 30% pass mark?

  • piwa.fihlela - 2013-01-04 16:24

    Jennylove its shocking how u insult these farm workers.nobody shud be insulted like dat just becoz he/she holds a different view.we clearly hv a long way 2 go if we stil hv people like u.

      brandon.styles.14 - 2013-01-04 17:06

      You also stupid piwa.

      tony.vanniekerk.35 - 2013-01-04 17:10

      I agree Piwa.People are too quick to insult without having all the facts. There is always more to a story than what you read in the news. The workers are simply a political football. The ANC's minimum wage of R70 p/hour is not good enough, clearly. However, COSATU playing political games is clearly wrong. COSATU should have campaigned their own ANC government to raise the minimum wage through negotiations with farmers. That would be the non-political way to go, which will avoid strikes, improve relationships between farmers and workers and be beneficial to all. Unfortunately COSATU is not interested in the well-being of the workers, it is all about political games.

      brandon.styles.14 - 2013-01-04 17:13

      Tony, and you also stupid

      PointBlank - 2013-01-04 17:29

      brandon, shutup and sit down, you displaying gross stupidity.

      piwa.fihlela - 2013-01-04 18:26

      Tony,thanx 4 making for these retards who are calling me stupid.i dont even want 2 reach ur level coz u r just airheads trying 2 be relevant 2 ur kind.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2013-01-04 22:00

      I am with you on the insulting remark by people. I wish they would think before open their mouths. Insult Kotsatu for trying to destroy our country yes.

  • rory.n.price - 2013-01-04 16:32

    Get machines to do the work, cut out the crap

      byron.matthews.562 - 2013-01-04 18:17

      exactly, a machine won't complain about min wage for the rest of its life(span)

      TSR01 - 2013-01-04 18:18

      Agreed. Human ineptitude can be overcome by ingenuity and improvisation. Automation is the future!

  • lynne.barker.7 - 2013-01-04 16:33

    They should stop their complaining and be thankful they have a job. So many qualified people don't have work at all

  • alexander.lombard - 2013-01-04 16:39

    I think the job will go to mr Jhon Deer and his army of implements. I feel sorry for the workers, receiving under R80 is shamefull and the other way may render them useless. Government should look at insentives for farmers like imposing tax on imports, ofering larger fuel rebates and providing cost efective transport infrastructure. But yes the farmer can contribute more from their own pocket.

      alexander.lombard - 2013-01-04 16:41

      OK and farmworkers it is time to get educated, skilled and more productive.

  • Prudence Molefe - 2013-01-04 16:46

    jeNny-love ... u really crazy u must thank God that he blessed u with parents who could provide.. u talk as if u have a PHD.. R50 is less i think even less for u to buy @Spur for your lunch in @wrk .. :(

      brandon.styles.14 - 2013-01-04 17:09

      They run on pap, not spur, their bodies will seize up if you put spur into them

  • pdvermaak - 2013-01-04 16:48

    Toney will have to contact rent a striker early, they might just be busy somewhere else. It is clear that the strikes does not come from the farm workers, but from ANC that want to take credit. Don't stop talking people, the strikes will not help any body. Talk and negotiate.

  • mike.bester1 - 2013-01-04 16:50

    Shame ,Can someone tell them @ R150.00 a day ,minus the union fees,they still won’t earn and live like the union(Cosatu)bosses and representatives.

      TSR01 - 2013-01-04 18:19

      R150 a day is R4,200 a month (only working weekdays) - how's that for picking fruit? I would just as soon have disregarded my first IT position in favor of that salary! :P

  • mike.clery - 2013-01-04 16:51

    Mr Ehrenreich needs to tell us why the strike is limited to WC when the wage issue is national.

      Mary Milne Archibald - 2013-01-04 17:06

      Have asked this before, the answer was Silence. Think this is just to try and destabilise WC

      morton.christie - 2013-01-04 19:03

      We the know the obvious answer mike, the other 8 are already owned by the anc.

  • liezl.haramis.7 - 2013-01-04 16:55

    Prudence...its no ones fault that some of them are not WORTH more than ZAR 50 a day!!!

  • angelanair3 - 2013-01-04 16:55

    Deja vu! Chaos rears its ugly head. Just when things were nice and quiet. I wonder how many farms they intend burning this time? Wait and see them dance and act like a pack of savages. No dignity and self respect! There hasto be a better way of getting more pay than to act like idiots. I wonder if the farms, like the mines should close up shop? Then more of our tax money will go towards grants and the dole of course! Personally, I wish they get so violent and out of hand that the police then have to shoot them with rubber bullets and water cannons and more - bloody stupid bastards. No education, no commonsense and no ambition - but they know how to make demands!

      byron.matthews.562 - 2013-01-04 19:13

      "Just when things were nice " - yes, I don't know why these pesky opportunists are planning to strike. Everything's been so nice for them. I mean just ask the experts here how great these farmworkers' lives are

      solo.mathe.5 - 2013-01-04 21:21

      Kwaaaaa!!!...this is perfect response!

  • hudayfah.newman - 2013-01-04 16:56

    Tony sounds very happy about this, what the hell is wrong with this guy?

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-05 08:37

      He is just a self serving piece of greed with his own personal agenda for self enrichment. His mouth is watering at the prospect of mayorship, but his scemes are not going to work

  • matthew.patrick.925 - 2013-01-04 17:11

    R80 for a full day's work is a pittance but resorting to violence and intimidation won't earn them much empathy.

  • wayne.goddard.18 - 2013-01-04 17:21

    Shame; runaway living costs; runaway farming costs and finally there's a fight. No one knows (how) to hit back at the greedy monopolies that suck the sector dry. We need new supply channels to take the power back. In 2013 please government. We will assist.

  • herman.letlalo - 2013-01-04 17:23

    brendan, did you take your pills today, or did overdose on the illegal?

  • gary.desousa.5 - 2013-01-04 17:23

    Let them strike its all illegal, very few are unionized, strike, removed from the supplied housing on the farms and wait till the sectorial determination from gov. Then hire new workers stc.....

  • solly.knoetze - 2013-01-04 17:34


  • piwa.fihlela - 2013-01-04 18:36

    These workers hv a rite 2 strike whether we agree with it or not and dat wil neva da important thing is 4 both parties 2 negotiate in good faith.workers must earn their money by being productive and farmers must pay fair wages 4 production.u cn throw insults all u want bt u r nt doing anything 4 this country.

      piwa.fihlela - 2013-01-04 19:04

      Gud point bt u mean 2 tel me dat if they experience problems with cattles then they r going 2 change 2 sumting else?look,workers nid farmers and farmers nid workers.let this go 2 the negotiating table rather than simply dismissing workers as stupid like wat is happening in this platform

  • solo.mathe.5 - 2013-01-04 21:40

    Farm workers are demanding what they feel is a reasonable pay, but its subject to farmers negotiating what they can afford. It doesn't seem like they are prepared to meet them they continue to strike. Govt doesn't have to increase the minimum wage as this is an employer employee issue. The govt is not preventing farmers from paying more than the set minimum. So blaming the govt is really lame...

      Mazwi Biyase - 2013-01-05 07:34

      I understand it is lame, but can't the government add like R30 to the minimum wage being paid. Atleast let them have R110 a day because R80 is really unreasonable. I really blame the unions though, it is their job not only to negotiate with farm owners but also make farm workers understand how the situation is.

  • Vishen - 2013-01-04 21:43

    It's simple economics. When labour supply far exceeds labour demand (as is in our country), the market wage earned is relatively low. The hard truth is that there are many unemployed people willing to work for R80 a day, hence it does not make sense for producers to pay a higher wage...and both the government and unions know this.

  • sello.motete.98 - 2013-01-04 21:53

    Jst for once,can we try put ourselves on those workers' shoes. Let us all be realistic, we wll never survive without agricultural production. Jst because they are not educated,that does not mean that they are not entitled to protesting. They too are human beings,not animals. Without them,farms will not be able to operate and generate good production.

      Vishen - 2013-01-04 22:06

      Agreed Sello. Unfortunately there are too many workers in this predicament, and this drives perceptions and more importantly, wages down.

  • pepukai.mumanyi - 2013-01-05 14:56

    the farmworkers are right 70rand a day, 350rand a week,1400 a month is just but too little.Schools are opening kids want fees ,uniforms ,food and you also want to pay rentals please give these people what they deserve.

      Vishen - 2013-01-05 21:54

      Then don't have children

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