South Africa: FAWU and NASARIEU signed wage agreement in the Sugar Manufacturing and Refining Sector

On 6 June, eleven days after launching a strike, two unions, the IUF-affiliated Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and NASARIEU, reached a wage agreement with the sugar employers ending the strike of some 5,000 South African sugar workers, of which 2,730 are FAWU members. Workers were to resume work on Monday 9 June.

The agreement grants wage increases as follows:

  •  Lowest band of grades (Band “A” in the Paterson job grading) will receive 10 per cent, which translates into ZAR 595 and ZAR 635 per month.
  • Middle band of grades (Brand “B”) will receive 9 per cent, between ZAR 600-975 a month, and
  • Highest band (Band “C”) will receive 8.75 per cent, between ZAR 1,080 and ZAR 1,415 a month (USD 1.00=ZAR 10.58)
FAWU Street Demonstration in Durban on 4 June. Photo: FAWU

FAWU Street Demonstration in Durban; 4 June. Photo: FAWU

The three other issues in dispute were referred to a “separated forum comprising of the full Council,” which will reach a decision by the end of 2014, “unless otherwise agreed to.” These issues are:

  1. 1- ZAR 800 monthly as housing subsidy,
  2. 2- A 40-hour working week down from the current 43-hour, and,
  3. 3- Permanent employment to some 5,000 fixed-term contract and permanent casual workers.

FAWU called the employers “to meaningfully engage with the unions” on these three dispute issues.

FAWU and NASARIEU organised a demonstration in front of the TSB office in Malelane (Mpumalanga province) on 2 June, mass meetings at Clairwood and Eston on 3 June, and a street demonstration in Durban in 4 June.

The IUF family of unions sent solidarity messages to FAWU and the striking sugar workers, which were read at the meetings and shared with the FAWU members across the sector.

The sugar struggle continues as FAWU has declared dispute with the South African Sugar Research Institute (SASRI) which involves 215 workers and with Illovo Sugar’s seven plantations, covering some 1,300 workers, and conciliation/mediation processes are expected to start soon. (From the FAWU Press Release, dated 8 June 2014.)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.iuf.org/sugarworkers/south-africa-fawu-nasarieu-signed-wage-agreement-sugar-manufacturing-refining-sector/

4 comments

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    • Miriam Wanyama on June 10, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Glory be to God in the highness! We also share in the glory and have a reason to smile because we are going to use SA as a reference.Workers have a very powerful weapon called Labour that many a times make employers to have no otherwise but just give in. Therefore let us celebrate our Labour. CONGRATULATIONS COMRADES.

    • Renice Ojowi on June 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Unity is strength and has made you successful. Preach this gospel whenever it is necessary and never put your tools where moth and rust destroy for struggle continues. We are together in your success.

    • Nelisiwe Nxumalo on June 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I was blessed to be part and parcel of this industrial action being one of the leaders in the sugar industry in SA. It really showed that when people are united they can achieve a lot, let’s hope going forward our Union is going to be more stronger.

    • NICHOLAUS VALERIAN NGOWI on July 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Despite of being delayed to deliver my feelings with joy for the achievement , i under the umbrella of TPAWU Trade Union, i am still join my comrades to congratulate and wish you prosperous and be filled with God gracious during this achievement period. Solidarity is strong. Let us going forward.

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