South Africa: Cosatu hints at another farm worker strike
Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) representative Tony Ehrenreich has reportedly warned of a repeat of last year's farm worker strikes, as well as a general strike if socio-economic concerns are not addressed, according to website Farmersweekly.co.za.
Speaking to www.freshfruitportal.com, the Western Cape provincial secretary said he could not currently comment on the possibility of a strike but would have more details in two weeks.
After a recent summit that included the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party, Cosatu national spokesperson Patrick Craven expressed support for a higher national wage.
He told Farmersweekly.co.za, "farm workers were exploited and underpaid and needed to take action to improve living conditions and labour relations on farms."
He said the current minimum wage of R105 (US$10.50) was still too low. Following extensive farm worker strikes, most notably in the Western Cape, the South African Ministry of Labour increased the wage in February from R69 (US$6.90) a day to R105 (US$10.50).
Agri Wes-Cape CEO Carl Opperman told the South African publication that there were currently no strikes planned in the agricultural industry.
"There are a number of department of labour inspectors on farms. There is also a lot of activity on farms by a particular trade union, which is sending out misinformation to workers," he said.