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Some farmworkers fired after strikes

Hundreds of farmworkers have been fired for participating in violent strike action.

Striking farmworkers hurl rocks at police during a protest for better wages in De Doorns in the Western Cape, Thursday, 10 January 2013. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - The Building and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Bawusa) confirmed on Thursday hundreds of labourers have been dismissed following an end to the ongoing farmworkers strike in the Western Cape.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) officially called off all industrial action this week.

Workers from several farms in the Boland, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Ceres downed tools in November and again in January in demand of better wages.

They wanted their daily wage doubled to R150 from the 69 they claimed to have been earning.

The strike was marred with violence in which several vineyards were torched and cars were stoned.

A total of three people died during the violent protests.

Bawusa's Nosey Pieterse said when labourers returned to the farms they were told to leave.

"The farmers attacked farmworkers with dismissals. We see most of the dismissals took place in the Wolseley, De Doorns and Berg River areas.

Pieterse said the situation is unfortunate.

"Trucks of workers were let off. They were shouted at 'you are fired!' since when do we fire people like that in South Africa? Trucks also dumped farmworkers belongings and then took off."

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