11 January 2013

South Africa: Dairy Belle Strike At Bloemhof

The Congress of South African Trade Union in the NW is now preparing to intervene in the strike of DairyBelle workers who have been on strike since 3 December 2012 due to the negotiation deadlock.

FAWU has been leading the strike and has now requested the federation to intervene, as the employer is playing mucky tricks to dismiss workers. We are now taking over the strike from next week Tuesday 15 January 2013.

Workers are demanded a R1200 increase. They are now on R800 and their employer is offering R266 per month, while workers are still earning nothing. The workers are demanding shorter hours of work, and a provident fund. The employer wants to withdraw all the benefits that workers have had for so many years. The conditions of workers have been very bad with the employer treating them like pigs.

The unions have tried to make a CCMA intervention, but the employer has failed to respond and the workers are now demanding that the federation that they belong too to intervene, as the strike is now beginning to be violent. Some workers were arrested; some were assaulted; cars were stoned as the police were shooting at the striking workers.

We are now demanding that both the Department of Labour, our provincial and national governments to intervene and make sure that the arrogance of the employer is changed to achieve a solution to resolving the dispute.

As we are mobilizing our members to intensify the strike, which will be linked with solidarity support of the W Cape farm workers’ demands affecting all farm workers in the country. We call our government to intervene as a matter of urgency.

The strikers are now going to the second month with no solutions. What they are getting from the employer is arrogance and an attitude of wanting to dismiss workers.

We call on the employer to respond positively to the workers’ demands by making a better offer, and withdrawing its attitude of taking all the benefits that workers had for so many years, by Monday 14 January 2013 at the close of business. Failure to do that it will mean that the strike will be intensified by COSATU with support of the communities in the region of DR Ruth Momphati.

Our members are ready to take up solidarity action, as part of the program of demanding R150 per day and improving the conditions of farm workers in the NW.

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary at [0823044055]

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