'EC farmworkers might go on strike'

EC farmworkers say they face the same wage and working condition issues as their Western Cape counterparts. Picture: AFP
CAPE TOWN - An umbrella body of small scale farmer associations said on Tuesday the wages of labourers in the Eastern Cape are similar to that of their counterparts in the Western Cape.

The Makukhanye Rural Movement said it fears protest action by farmworkers will break out in the area if they do not intervene.

The movement will hold a meeting with farmers and unions in the Uitenhage area on Wednesday. 

Over the past few weeks, striking farmworkers in small farming towns in the Western Cape took to the streets demanding their daily wage be doubled to R150.

Farmworkers have since returned to work, but some are still struggling to get their jobs back after being fired for participating in the strike action. 

The Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) Tony Ehrenreich on Tuesday said farmworkers who were not rehired would protest again. 

The Makukhanye Rural Movement’s Simphiwe Dada said many workers are dissatisfied with their current working conditions.

“We raised the matter of our Western Cape comrades with others in the Eastern Cape as well as provided concrete support. But we will also look at how to take up such issues facing farmworkers in the area.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)