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WC farmworker case heads to the CCMA

Eleven workers claim they were unfairly dismissed from their jobs in Robertson in January 2013.

Eleven workers claim they were unfairly dismissed from their jobs at Steytler Farm in Robertson in January 2013. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN -The Commercial Stevedoring Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU) says it may now head to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on behalf of a group of farmworkers who claim they were unfairly dismissed.

Eleven workers claim they were unfairly dismissed from their jobs at Steytler Farm in Robertson in January last year.

In late 2012 and early 2013, hundreds of farm workers embarked on a violent strike in the Western Cape demanding better pay.

The group claims their dismissal came as a result of their involvement in the labour unrest.

The Labour Court on Tuesday ruled it would not hear the case as the matter was not first referred to the CCMA.

The farm's lawyers have also argued that the group was only dismissed after they'd been warned to return to work.

The CSAAWU's Karel Swart says Tuesday's judgment was devastating.

"We will go through the procedures and see whether we can convince the CCMA to put forward another date so that we at least have an opportunity to explain the case."

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