About FAWU


Why join FAWU



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Year Calendar 2018

Tribute to our former leaders

RAY Alexander Elizabeth Mafikeng
Oscar Mpetha Liz Abrahams
Chris Dlamini Jay Naidoo

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Contact our
Head Office

Vuyisile Mini Centre
Cnr. NY 1 & NY 110 Gugulethu

Tel: 021 637 9040
Fax: 021 637 9190

About F.A.W.U

The Food and Allied Workers' Union (F.A.W.U.) is a section 21, non- profit organisation (trade union) registered with the Department of Labour in South Africa. The union is a corporate body having perpetual succession and legal existence and has a constitution. It is an affiliate of the labour federation South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) and played a leading role in the establishment thereof after having split from Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

The union's core functions are recruiting and servicing its members and bargaining with employers over labour matters on its members' behalf. The union recruits workers from the farming, forestry, food, fast food, beverage and fishing community, wholesale and retail as well as hospitality sectors.

FAWU was established under the name Food and Canning Workers' Union (FCWU) in 1941 in the Western Cape by the late Ray Alexander Simons, an immigrant from Latvia. Russia and a passionate communist. Ray arrived in Cape Town in 1929 and started to organise mainly black workers in the Cape Peninsula. She was adamant that workers, and women in particular, should organise themselves to united and to protect workers' rights. The FCWU spread through the fruit canning industry of the Boland and up the west coast among fishing communities. It gained the reputations of being both effective and militant while recruiting workers from both sexes. By the beginning of 1945 the FCWU obtained a Wage Determination for the fish canning industry, which gave these workers higher wages and better working conditions. FAWU has had and continues to have many successes under its belt.

FAWU has always been known for its strong emphasis on equality between men and women and has produced highly respected trade unionists and political figures such as Elizabeth 'Nanna ' Abrahams, Elizabeth 'Rocky' Mafikeng, Oscar Mpetha, Chris Dlamini and Jay Naidoo during the struggle for liberation. 'FAWU has had many militant leaders such as Frances Baard, Dr. Neil Aggett, Billy Nair, and countless other fearless comrades.

The Organisation

The Head Office, 'Vuyisile Mini Centre' is prominently based in the township of Gugulethu in Cape Town. The union also has a Satellite Head Office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg from which the union's bargaining unit operates. The union has a provincial office in each of South Africa's 8 provinces with smaller branches scattered in rural areas to promote better access to workers in rural areas. FAWU has an investment wing, Basebenzi Investments Pty Ltd and lays claim to about 124 000 members.