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!






· For more information contact CSAAWU at; phone 0729913371.

· Workers need support with donations of food! Phone 0790661109 or 021 917 1924 to find out where food drop-off points are.



see also:

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



About selcoolie

see: briefly: Born in Cape Town, South Africa; moved to Sweden in1969 and completed studies in 1983, then moved to Norway and then to S.A. in 1993 - back to Norway in 2005, and been there ever since! E-mail: Web Page: zcommunications/zspace/selcool In My Own Words: ¨ South African born ex-academic now retired, exiled and beyond redemption? Interests South African political economy and history; International Socialism and Marxist/Anarchist thought; anti-militarism and ecological questions My draft autobiography (ALL the "closet secrets" in the open! @ Aslo view:

2 responses to “SOUTH AFRICA: FARM WORKERS’ MASS MEETING, 2/12/2012”

  1. selcoolie says :

    Farm workers to resume strike as talks fail to have ‘desired effect’

    BY CAROL PATON, 29 NOVEMBER 2012, 12:40 | 1 COMMENTS

    FARM workers in the Western Cape said on Thursday that they would resume their strike on December 4 as negotiations among workers, unions, government and employers had not had “the desired effect”.

    The announcement followed Tuesday’s statement by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant that the government would not be able to raise the sectoral determination for the minimum wage before March 1 2013, due to legal constraints.

    This contradicted a previous undertaking to workers by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who said the minimum wage would be raised by December 4.

    She strongly implied that the government would be amenable to raising the wage to R150. It was on this basis that workers suspended the strike.

    On Thursday a coalition of trade unions and nongovernmental organisations active on the farms said the “government must take responsibility for the date set of December 4 to conclude the increase of R150”.

    The organisations said mass meetings would be held in farming towns on Sunday, and workers and community supporters would be called on to gather on the streets of farming towns on Tuesday.

    “The strike will continue indefinitely until the demands are met,” they said.

    Workers’ organisations would be meeting the South African Police Service on Thursday morning to “share information and work together”, they said.


  2. selcoolie says :

    Amcu president promised workers would put down arms, says police lawyer

    29.nov.2012 | Franny Rabkin
    Police counsel Ishmael Semenya cross-examines Associated Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa at Farlam commission

    ASSOCIATED Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa gave an undertaking to the police that workers would put down their arms and return to work on August 16, counsel for the police Ishmael Semenya SC suggested to Mr Mathunjwa on Thursday.

    Mr Semenya spent Thursday morning cross-examining Mr Mathunjwa, trying to poke holes in the evidence Mr Mathunjwa gave on Tuesday and Wednesday to the Farlam inquiry, which is seeking to get to the bottom of, among other things, what led to the deaths of 44 people, 34 of whom died in a bloody stand off with the police on August 16th.

    Mr Mathunjwa stuck to what he said on Wednesday: what he had told the police at the debriefing session on the evening of August 15 was that the workers had asked him to return the next morning to discuss how they would “engage further and how we will be returning to work”.

    He said he “hoped” this would lead to them disarming and returning the following day.

    But Mr Semenya then referred to Mr Mathunjwa’s statement to the inquiry. Referring to his debriefing with the police on August 15, his statement said:

    “We said that the workers had been receptive to the proposal that they return to work and that we would see them again in the morning to discuss the matter further.”

    If all the workers had said was that Mr Mathunjwa and his colleagues should return the following day, “how can that, in the world, convey that they were receptive?”, asked Mr Semenya.

    Mr Mathunjwa said he believed in dialogue. “When parties engage each other there must be a solution to any problem,” he said.


    Consumers’ class action against bread cartel a step closer


    AN APPLICATION for a class action against three Western Cape breadmakers — Pioneer Foods, Premier Foods, and Tiger Consumer Brands — was referred back to the high court by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday.

    The appeal by Western Cape consumers against the court’s refusal to certify them as a class has been upheld and the application to be certified has been sent back to the high court for a determination.

    Judge Robert Nugent on Thursday set out the principles for the high court on which the application must be determined.

    The consumers have been given two months to supplement their application to remedy some of the shortcomings identified by the appeal court in their original filings.

    The Competition Tribunal found Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods and Foodcorp guilty of cartel conduct, paving the way for civil claims by those harmed.

    Premier Foods was granted leniency from prosecutions, but was added as a respondent in the certification applications.

    The Children’s Resource Centre, the Black Sash Trust, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the National Consumer Forum brought an application for a class certification order to the Western Cape High Court.

    This was on behalf of customers prejudicially affected by the anticompetitive conduct of bread producers.

    The initial certification application was dismissed on the grounds that the aggrieved parties had failed to make out a case for a sufficiently identifiable class of persons.

    On readmitting the case in the high court, the appeal court said the issue of certification had to be determined on complete papers.

    These had to include draft particulars of the claim and affidavits indicating that there was a prima facie case on the merits.

    The appeal court held the application had been dealt with as a matter of urgency, and as a result the breadmakers had not been able to put their full case before the court.

    It was held that the appellants’ case — the NGOs and individuals — had also changed during the course of the litigation.

    The court found the proposed class action was also overly broad and the relief it sought inappropriate.

    However, the appeal court held the group’s claim was potentially plausible, and with the court laying down the requirements for a class action, it was appropriate to afford them an opportunity to correct the flaws in the court papers in line with the new requirements.

    The case could then continue in the high court with the requirements laid down by the appeal court on Thursday.

    With Sapa


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