South Africa: Sactwu Pledges R1 Million for the Unionisation of Farm Workers

The Southern African Clothing & Textile workers’ Union (SACTWU) has pledged R1m towards a COSATU-run fund, to unionise farm workers.

SACTWU General Secretary, Andre Kriel, made the announcement this morning at a recruitment planning meeting of the Food & Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU), held at the FAWU offices in Gugulethu, Cape Town.

“This is an act of concrete solidarity in our quest for a living wage and decent work for vulnerable workers, in true COSATU tradition ”, said Mr Kriel.

SACTWU and FAWU are both affiliated to COSATU.

The pledge includes support for the establishment of a professionally run, modern and adequately manned trade union office in De Doorns in the Western Cape, the hotspot of the recent farm workers’ living wage strike, as well as the release of a 30 strong SACTWU recruitment team.

“SACTWU challenges all other COSATU-affiliated unions’ to match this solidarity donation, proportionate to their membership”, said Mr Kriel. “Press releases of support are not enough. Concrete action to build farm workers’ organised collective strength is now urgently required”, said Mr Kriel.

“If all COSATU union’s meet the SACTWU challenge, such a recruitment fund will result in a R26m strong farm workers’ recruitment fund, immediately”, said Mr Kriel.

“Let’s do our job as committed trade unionists and give concrete expression to the COSATU slogan of ‘Organise or Starve’”, he added.

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