Robertson Winery workers to continue strike

Workers entered the 12th week of striking, with negotiations between the CSAAW & the winery's management reaching a deadlock.

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CAPE TOWN - The union representing more than 200 Robertson Winery factory workers says members are determined to continue striking.

Workers have entered the twelfth week of striking, with negotiations between the Commercial, Stevedoring, Agriculture and Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU) and the winery's management reaching a deadlock.

The union is demanding an increase in workers' wages, and for a committee to be set up to investigate the alleged violation of workers’ rights.

The winery was placed under the spotlight in the Danish documentary, Bitter grapes - Slavery in the vineyards, which investigated the poor working conditions of farm workers in the wine industry.

The union’s spokesperson Karel Swart says while they have “parked” the original demand of a R8,500 monthly salary for all workers, they will not compromise any longer.

“There’s no negotiations taking place. Workers are not prepared to make any further compromises, so they have decided to take a stand and continue with the strike.”

Robertson Winery’s human resources manager Reinette Jordaan says the last negotiations were on Tuesday.

“At those negotiations CSAAWU went back on all agreements we had reached up until that point. And at that point the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) indicated that they can no longer continue facilitating the process because it doesn’t seem that the union in acting in good faith.”

WATCH: Bitter grapes - slavery in the Cape winelands

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)