3 December 2012

South Africa: Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant Calls for Calm During the Proposed Farmworkers Industrial Action

Photo: Sapa
Farmworkers march in Paarl, 4 December 2012

press release

The Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, having noted a call for farmworkers to engage in industrial action in pursuit of better pay and working conditions, has called on all of the people who may be taking part to conduct themselves peacefully.

"Violence has no place in our society whose foundation as a democracy is based on intensive social dialogue. Nothing yet has proven to work better than the ability to negotiate and reach consensus," said Mrs Mildred Oliphant.

The minister called on the farmers and those representing workers to continue negotiating in good faith with a view to arriving at an agreement regarding the wages of farmworkers and the improved conditions of employment.

The department was still going ahead with public hearings that would contribute to the fashioning a new sectoral determination for farmworkers.

"The process is continuing. The hearings have been scheduled until December 13, 2012 but in some instances, the department will be going back for further hearings where we have been requested to.

"I must emphasise that the process of the sectoral determination does not replace the negotiations between business and employee representatives. In fact it complements it and it is my fervent wish for the parties to come to an agreement as soon as possible," said.

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