Strike ends after Ceres Fruit signs deal with Fawu

Operations were set to resume at Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) in Western Cape after a wage deal was reached between the company and striking workers who were represented by the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu).

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Katishi Masemola, general secretary of Fawu, told Farmer’s Weekly he was “quite happy” with the 8,25% wage increase backdated to 1 August that Fawu reached with the company last night (14 October). The Cosatu union had initially demanded 12%.

“The workers will also receive a once-off R500 payment,” Masemola said, adding that 1 180 members took part in the strike action which lasted more than four weeks.

In a media statement, Francois Malan, managing director of Ceres Fruit Growers said workers were “more than R7 million poorer because of the unprotected strike” which had also cost CFG and its growers about R10 million.

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“We have a big challenge to get our operations back on track and to get to work. We will assess the material damage caused to our business in due course, but more importantly, we need to re-establish a good working relationship with all our staff,” said Malan.