Today's Labour News

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strike thumb medium85 85GroundUp reports that farm workers from Oak Valley Estate and supporters from Grabouw blocked the N2 highway near Sir Lowry’s Pass on Monday demanding a wage increase to R250 per day, an end to labour brokering, and the removal of single-sex hostels.  

They have been on strike — organised by The Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (Csaawu) — since 6 May, with no agreement in sight.  “Farm workers can’t live on R162 a day.  The money that the workers bring home into the community is not enough for the community to survive with,” said Csaawu’s Karel Swart.  He indicated that the workers wanted the hostels demolished and replaced with family homes.  He also claimed that labour broking was making “white farm owners rich”, but “it keeps wages low”.  Oak Valley said that it fully complied with the National Minimum Wage Act for both permanent workers (average wage R273 a day) and seasonal workers (average wage R234 per day).  The company said it also provided free services such as transport to and from work, and rent-free housing on the farm.  Oak Valley indicated that it would not enter into negotiations with Csaawu until the union represented at least 50% of the farm’s workers.  It also pointed out that labour brokers were common in an industry where seasonal work was required.

  • Read the full original of Ashraf Hendricks’ GroundUp report at TimesLIVE

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page