According to Fresh Fruit Portal website, SA farmworkers' bargaining underwent revisions this week, with negotiations between government, labour and business set to resume tomorrow (Thursday). Earlier this month, the government suspended employment and minimum wage provision that should have been effective through February 2015. Current minimum wage is set at R70 a day. Labour has asked for an increase to R150.
Minimum wage has been a point of contention throughout the month as Western Cape Province vineyard workers went on strike to demand better pay. "The latest industrial action involving farmworkers in the Hex River valley/De Doorns has (...) seen unprecedented and unacceptable levels of violence which sadly led to the death of one worker," Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant said in a press conference. She said farmworkers are among the most vulnerable workers. "It is our duty to support them as much as we can," she said.
Interested parties have been given until the end of the month to submit input to the department, and an academic institution has also been appointed to review the economic situation in the agricultural sector. Its findings will be presented at tomorrow's meeting, Fresh Fruit Portal website reports.
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