South Africa: FAWU and sugar unions launch strike in the Sugar Sector

Today, 27 May 2014, over 5,500 workers in the sugar milling and refining value-chain launched a protected strike to support their demands for:

  • Wage increment of 11 percent across the board
  • 40-hour working week
  • Monthly housing subsidy of ZAR 800
  • Permanent employment of all fixed-term and other contract workers

The workers are members of the IUF-affiliated Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), as well as members of two other unions in the sector, NASERIEU and UASA.

FAWU leaders reported today that the strike is respected in all mills in the KwaZulu Natal province, the heart of the South African sugar industry.

The strike follows several negotiating meetings under the Sugar Bargaining Council that started in March.

Under South African labour legislation, workers on a protected strike cannot be dismissed. FAWU leaders expect that another 5,000 workers under contract would join the strike as well. The strike is the first in the South African sugar sector in 17 years. The previous one, in 1997, lasted 10 days.

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    • Miriam Wanyama on May 29, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Comrades, nothing is impossible IN SOLIDARITY. Remember the foundation laid by our Fathers,Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Tom Mboya, just but to mention a few. Press on, Solidarity forever, we are together with you.

    • Nelisiwe Nxumalo on June 2, 2014 at 10:04 am

    We are today on the 7th day of the strike and our negotiating team went back to the table. We are hoping for the best cause emotions are starting to rise and people are becoming uncontrollable! Viva cdes Viva! Forward with the living wage!

    • Miriam Wanyama on June 4, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Our MOTTO is to organise, win, and fight, we cant give up. Giving up is not our portion. Solidarity Forever.

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