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Illovo workers affiliated to Fawu threaten to strike as wage talks stall

Workers affiliated to the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) say eight employers from Illovo farms across the province have failed to meet their demands.

Illovo Group logo. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG – Close to 1,000 workers employed by the Illovo sugar company are preparing to embark on a strike in KwaZulu-Natal this week as ongoing wage negotiations have reached a deadlock.

Workers affiliated to the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) say eight employers from Illovo farms across the province have failed to meet their demands.

Some of the demands by workers include a 10% wage increase, a provident fund for seasonal and full-time workers and protective clothing for employees while on the job.

Fawu says they have had about five meetings with employers over the past month under the facilitation of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

The union’s General Secretary Katishi Masemola says the strike will only have a date once picketing rules have been met.

“If we issue a 48-hour notice, anytime in the week then a strike action can begin.”

Masemola says the union is urging employers to understand that the days of not affording workers employment benefits are over.

“We need to treat workers as human beings and extend the necessary benefits to them.”

He says they hope employers can come back to the table before a strike takes place.