26 January 2013

South Africa: Press Statement On the Outcomes of FAWU Visit to and Mass Meetings At Ceres and De Doorns

The leadership of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) led by its General Secretary Katishi Masemola, visited Ceres at and De Doorns and held successful mass meetings of members of FAWU and interested farm workers.

We are pleased with the turnout of farm workers and FAWU members at the ANC hosted Ceres meeting were some 700 attended. More workers were encouraged to join FAWU. The De Doorns meeting saw some 500 workers and members attending.

The reason for the low-than-expected turnout in De Doorns was because of the alleged call for the resumption of strike on Monday. We informed workers that as FAWU we distance the union from such irresponsible call and that we expect workers to report for duty on Monday and beyond. Workers responded resoundingly to this message.

Part of the issues that emerged, as expected, were on victimization of returning workers like refusal by some farm owners in allowing workers back or dismissals of those workers and their evictions, following the calling-off of strike action.

We reiterate our call on all farm owners to allow all their workers back and nullify disciplinary actions and to allow those staying on farms to continue dwelling on farms.

If anything, we still encourage all other farm owners and management to turn the new page by negotiating with trade unions and by recognizing their right to organize farm workers. Therefore, FAWU defend its members, legally or through collective power and calls for selected or targeted local consumer boycott or international retailer boycott. We reserve our rights to defend members.

We are pleased with the ongoing and expected negotiations between FAWU and farm owners in other parts of the country, mainly in Sekhukhune district of Limpopo and Humansdorp in Eastern Cape.

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