Crippling Ceres strike ends in S. Africa

After a six week strike, and millions of Rands in damage after incidents of arson, a crippling strike held at apple and pear processing facility in South Africa has ended.

It was announced today that the industrial action against Ceres Fruit Growers by the Farm Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) is over.

The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) has reached a wage agreement of 8.25% with the Ceres Fruit Growers Company at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The workers were demanding a 12.5% increase which was later revised to 10%.

Fawu Secretary-General Katishi Masemola says they will encourage the workers to accept the offer.

Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) Managing Director Francois Malan says that he is grateful and relieved that an agreement was reached last night which puts an end to the crippling six week long strike action.

"We acknowledge the pivotal role played by the CCMA Commissioners and the Senior leadership of FAWU in forging this deal. We have a big challenge to get our operations back on track and to get to work. Ceres workers are more than R7 million poorer because of the unprotected strike and this action has also cost CFG and its growers about R10 million. 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.”

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