Majority of sugar workers back at work

Some Durban Tongaat-Hulett sugar refinery workers are still refusing to return to work, despite the majority having called off the strike after reaching an amicable agreement on Friday, 6 June.

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On 27 May more than 5 500 workers at Tongaat-Hulett started with industrial action, demanding an 11% salary increase.

Katishi Masemola, Food and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary, said workers resolved to go back to work after securing a 10% increase for the sugar industry’s lowest-paid workers, with 9% for the middle income band and an 8,75% increase for the higher band of workers.

Masemola said the 500 workers persisting with the strike were demanding a salary increase of 10% across the board.

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“We’re for now encouraging them to report for work. We hope they’ll take heed of our word and go back as soon as possible,” said Masemola.

“Despite workers still having three outstanding issues to be resolved, which will be dealt with at a later stage, we are happy with the wage increment.”