No agricultural wage deal yet, not even in Clanwilliam – Agri SA

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Yesterday’s claim by Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich that a breakthrough was achieved with a wage deal in Clanwilliam, requires clarification. An offer made by a single farmer, who is apparently highly dependent on the services of a large number of temporary workers during peak harvest time, was welcomed by Cosatu and portrayed by them as a collective deal with Clanwilliam farmers which could serve as a trendsetter for wider application.

Our sources confirmed that this particular offer was not supported nor mandated as a collective agreement by other farm leaders and representative organisations of commercial farmers from Clanwilliam.

Agri SA consistently argued that individual farmers should regard the statutory minimum wage as a minimum and that they should negotiate higher wages with their workers at farm level, including that of temporary workers, considering all relevant circumstances which may differ from farm to farm. This has indeed taken place, especially since the start of the labour unrest during November last year. The Department of Labour was already briefed on the extent of such negotiations. The aforementioned “deal” should, therefore, be viewed as an example of such negotiations.

Agri SA and its members, as well as other national representative agricultural organisations, remain committed to constructively participate in the formal review of the statutory minimum wage, as announced by Minister Oliphant. This process will have to be concluded in February 2013 to take effect in March 2013. Continuous engagements are taking place with relevant authorities to ensure an outcome which will serve the best interests of all stakeholders in agriculture and that of the country.

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No agricultural wage deal yet, not even in Clanwilliam – Agri SA

  1. 1. Agri SA Mediaverklaring / Media Release Privaatsak / Private Bag X 180 Centurion 0046, Tel +27+12 643 3400, Faks/ Fax +27+12 663 Geen loonooreenkoms is bereik nie, ook nie in Clanwilliam nieNo agricultural wage deal yet, even in Clanwilliam16 Januarie/January 2013Geen loonooreenkoms is bereik nie, ook nie in Clanwilliam nieGister se aankondiging deur Tony Ehrenreich van Cosatu dat daar in Clanwilliam ‘ndeurbraak met ‘n loonooreenkoms gemaak is, noodsaak opklaring. ‘n Loonaanbod deur ‘nindividuele boer, wat klaarblyklik baie afhanklik is van groot getalle tydelike werkersgedurende tafeldruif-oestyd, is deur Cosatu verwelkom en voorgehou as ‘n kollektieweooreenkoms met Clanwilliam se boere wat as voorbeeld vir wyer toepassing kan dien.Ons bronne het bevestig dat die spesifieke aanbod nie deur ander leierboere enverteenwoordigende organisasies van kommersiële boere van Clanwilliam as ‘n kollektieweooreenkoms gesteun word nie.Dit was deurlopend Agri SA se standpunt dat boere die statutêre minimum loon as ‘nminimum moet beskou en hoër vergoedingsvlakke met hulle werkers op plaasvlak deuronderhandeling moet vasstel, insluitend dié van tydelike werknemers, met inagneming vantoepaslike omstandighede wat van plaas tot plaas kan verskil. Dit was inderdaad die geval,veral sedert die aanvang van arbeidonrus in November 2012. Toeligting hieroor is reedsaan die Departement van Arbeid gegee. Die bovermelde ooreenkoms moet derhalwe as netnog ‘n voorbeeld van so ‘n individuele reëling beskou word.Agri SA en sy lede, asook ander nasionaal verteenwoordigende landbou-organisasies, blyverbind tot konstruktiewe deelname aan die formele hersiening van die statutêre minimumloon, soos deur Minister Oliphant aangekondig. Hierdie proses moet in Februarie 2013afgehandel word om in Maart 2013 toepassing te vind. Daar is deurlopend gesprekkehieromtrent met die toepaslike owerhede om ‘n uitkoms te verseker wat in die beste belangvan almal sal wees wat by die landbou ‘n belang het, asook in nasionale belang is.Uitgereik deur Agri SA, Direktoraat: Korporatiewe SkakelingNavraeMnr Johannes Möller, President Agri SA, 082 647 8481Mnr Hans van der Merwe, Uitvoerende Direkteur, Agri SA, 082 388 0001No agricultural wage deal yet, even in ClanwilliamYesterday’s claim by Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich that a breakthrough was achieved with awage deal in Clanwilliam, requires clarification. An offer made by a single farmer, who isapparently highly dependent on the services of a large number of temporary workers duringpeak harvest time, was welcomed by Cosatu and portrayed by them as a collective deal withClanwilliam farmers which could serve as a trendsetter for wider application.
  2. 2. Our sources confirmed that this particular offer was not supported nor mandated as acollective agreement by other farm leaders and representative organisations of commercialfarmers from Clanwilliam.Agri SA consistently argued that individual farmers should regard the statutory minimumwage as a minimum and that they should negotiate higher wages with their workers at farmlevel, including that of temporary workers, considering all relevant circumstances which maydiffer from farm to farm. This has indeed taken place, especially since the start of the labourunrest during November last year. The Department of Labour was already briefed on theextent of such negotiations. The aforementioned “deal” should, therefore, be viewed as anexample of such negotiations.Agri SA and its members, as well as other national representative agricultural organisations,remain committed to constructively participate in the formal review of the statutory minimumwage, as announced by Minister Oliphant. This process will have to be concluded inFebruary 2013 to take effect in March 2013. Continuous engagements are taking place withrelevant authorities to ensure an outcome which will serve the best interests of allstakeholders in agriculture and that of the country.Issued by Agri SA, Directorate: Corporate LiaisonEnquiriesMr Johannes Möller, President Agri SA, 082 647 8481Mr Hans van der Merwe, Executive Director, Agri SA, 082 388 0001

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