8 January 2013

South Africa: Fawu Calls for a Peaceful Yet Militant Farm Workers Strike Actions and for Presidentially-Convened Negotiations Process to Find Resolution

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) calls on the Western Cape farm workers to engage in peaceful strike actions and desist from engaging in violence yet to remain militant in the course of protest, picketing and other actions.

FAWU also believes it is too early to invoke the call for blanket boycott of all the wines, table grapes and other fruits as well as agricultural products at this stage even if this remains an option to pursue at the right time.

If anything, we call on government and farm owners, through their organizations, to meaningfully and genuinely engage with trade unions in finding concrete and lasting resolution on the plight of farm workers and farm dwellers.

We call on the President of the country, JG Zuma, to elevate the issue of the plight of farm dwellers, in the light of the centenary of the despicable 1913 Land Act, to a Presidentially-convened dialogue process. There is an imperative to have a national negotiations process to arrive at a resolution.

As we conclude 19 years of democracy and freedom in South Africa come April 2013, it remains unacceptable that farm dwellers are still to taste what it means to leave in a free and democratic South Africa.

We remain resolute that there is a need for a significant adjustment in the wages of farm workers and the need to introduce a compulsory employee and employer contribution-based provident fund.

The terrible living conditions on farms affecting an estimated 3 million farm dwellers, including children and the elderly, cannot continue to prevail as they are 19 years later.

Please call General Secretary Katishi Masemola on 082 467 2509 or Deputy General Secretary Moleko Phakedi on 082 492 5111 for more information.

Katishi Masemola

FAWU General Secretary

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