Robertson farmworkers stay away from work

Robertson farms are empty as workers did not heed the call to return to work.

Protesters in the main road of Swellendam demonstrate for better wages on 15 November 2012 during widespread unrest among farmworkers in the Western Cape. Picture:Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - The Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) on Monday said some striking farmworkers in Robertson stayed away from work.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joematt-Pettersson called for the labourers to return to work this week and to give government two weeks to look into their demands.

Workers in 16 towns joined the strike which started in De Doorns two weeks ago.

The workers are demanding R150 pay for a day's work.

Currently, they are receiving between R65 and R80.

Fawu's Sandile Keni said the situation remains unchanged.

"In Robertson, workers stayed away from work. We'll be holding a briefing at 4pm."

Keni said workers in De Doorns appeared to have heeded government's call.

"According to the information that I received, some workers returned to work."

The farmworkers strike has been marred by violence.

At least two people lost their lives while several stores were looted.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the ANC of instigating the violent protests, but the ruling party denies this.