Grabouw farm workers' strike suspended after more than two months

17 July 2019 - 07:00 By ASHRAF HENDRICKS and GroundUp
Farm workers have been protesting for higher wages and an end to single-sex hostels in Grabouw. The strike ended on Tuesday.
Farm workers have been protesting for higher wages and an end to single-sex hostels in Grabouw. The strike ended on Tuesday.
Image: Ashraf Hendricks for GroundUp

A two-month farm workers' strike by Oak Valley employees has been suspended.

Farm workers have agreed to a reduced 6.5% increase, along with R300 housing allowance. This includes the promise that hostels would be “transformed”, said a statement by the Commercial Stevedore Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (Csaawu).

The strike has been ongoing since early May. On several occasions workers blocked the N2 highway, making it difficult for residents to leave the area.

Striking workers had been demanding a minimum wage of R250 per day, an 8% increase, an end to labour brokering, and the end of single-sex hostels.

A case has been initiated at the Equality Court with regard to the hostels which Csaawu says only houses “African black male workers” who are not allowed to have their families stay with them.

“While we’ve accepted the lower wage offer, we are insisting that the company delink the housing allowance with any evictions on the farm. We have still to see whether they will actually transform the hostels or merely patch them up,” said Trevor Christians, general secretary of Csaawu.

Oak Valley had not commented by time of publication.

- Originally published by GroundUp


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