SOUTH AFRICA: FARM WORKERS’ MASS MEETING, 2/12/2012
SOUTH AFRICA: FARM WORKERS’ MASS MEETING
Sunday, 2 December, 12pm,
Zolani Sports Stadium, Ashton
Commercial Stevedoring Agricultural & Allied Workers Union
Farm workers stand together: enough is enough!
In November, farm workers in different areas of the Western region went on strike.
This was a spontaneous strike driven by workers on the ground in response to decades of brutality at the hands of farmers and a government that has thus far refused to listen to workers and transform the rural landscape characterised by dependency master-slave relations, racism, sexism, starvation wages and violations of the limited freedoms won from decades of working class struggle.
Farm workers do backbreaking work sometimes for 12 hours a day to produce food and wine for everybody in this country and countries overseas yet they are forced to work under unsafe and unhealthy conditions, to drink dirty water, live without electricity, live without toilet facilities, on poverty wages, suffer threats of evictions, and violent physical and verbal abuse and intimidation at the hands of the bosses.
The Coalition of Farmworker Organisations and AWETUC (agricultural trade union coalition) have given the government until the 4th of December to meet our demands of R150 per day and improvements in living and working conditions – no evictions!
No labour brokers! Decent housing! Equality between women and men in the workplace!
So far the bosses and government have not met our demands and government is now saying we must wait until March 2013!
CSAAWU has consistently said that we do not put our hope and trust in the government, we put it in the power of the working class.
The government did not choose to review the minimum wage, they are being forced to by worker’s action. We are building strike committees on farms and mobilising in order to win the demands of farmworkers.
CSAAWU, Mawubuye and other affiliates of the Democratic Left Front as well as TCOE will be holding a mass meeting at 12pm on 2nd December at Zolani Sports Stadium, Ashton.
We are preparing for a general agricultural strike from the 4th until our demands are met! Farmworkers, worker committees, and land rights activists will come together, stand together and prepare for action together!
This is more than just a wage issue.
This unrest goes to the heart of exploitation and dispossession in the country. Commercial farmers still own and control approximately 87 percent of land in South Africa – little has changed one hundred years after the 1913 Land Act.
If farmers refuse to meet our demands or undertake mass retrenchments, the necessary redistribution of land under workers control must take place so all can live a decent life!
FORWARD TO AT LEAST R150 A DAY FOR FARMWORKERS!
END VICTIMISATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST FARM WORKERS!
FORWARD TO R12 500 LIVING WAGE FOR ALL WORKERS!
FORWARD TO A GENERAL STRIKE!
FORWARD TO LAND UNDER WORKERS CONTROL!
· For more information contact CSAAWU at firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 0729913371.
· Workers need support with donations of food! Phone 0790661109 or 021 917 1924 to find out where food drop-off points are.
South African farmworkers speak on issues in strike
By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam
26 November 2012
Following a three-week long standoff with police, the militant uprising, in which two farmworkers were killed, was temporarily suspended after a meeting on November 19, involving farm workers, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA).
COATSU and the main political parties, the ANC and the DA, are seeking to demobilize the farmworkers struggle, which follows and has been motivated by the eruption of strikes in the mining industries. Most of the farmworkers are not members of trade unions.
For their part, farmworkers have given the government until December 4 to respond to their demands for an increase in the minimum daily wage from R70 (US$7.75) to R150 ($16.70)…. (read on)
An example of farmworkers’ housing