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Top Story of The Day

Last updated: 11 October 2017

Victory For Fishing Sector Workers

The Food and Allied Workers' Union (FAWU) has once again been victorious in advancing and championing the interest of the working class.

Following the very challenging wage negotiations with the Oranjevis Joint Venture/Pioneer Fishing (West Coast) Pty Ltd, the 76 year old militant union has successfully used its influence to ensure that a cautious settlement agreement on revised wages and other substantive terms and conditions of employment was signed. An 8% per hour guaranteed increase will be applied to all minimum wages with effect from 1 August 2017.

Another major gain the union was able to make in the negotiations was that the company will continue the granting of a "supplementary off-season allowance" in favour of all seasonal workers. The workers concerned will be credited with 18% of their gross earnings to supplement benefits available from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). The Intention is that this fund plus supplementary allowance is to be used to assist such workers during the periods of the closed fishing seasons.

Amongst the things we pride ourselves in over this victory is that this giant, powerful organisation successfully entered into an agreement of a "Relief Fund". Both parties agreed that the company will continue granting a system of continuous income by ensuring that every seasonal employee will be paid at least one full day's normal pay per week, during the inn-season period from the first Monday in February up until the last Sunday in October on a yearly basis. We are pleased that after stormy years of battle, we have finally gained the "Relief Fund".

This victory has emboldened us to continue to fight for the improvement of workers conditions within the Fishing Industry. We call on workers not to repent, amidst intimidation tactics by management, but to join this fighting union, because when workers speak with a united voice their demands are achievable. As FAWU we will never desert of betray workers in the hands of the bosses, we shall continue to be the shield and spear at the point of production.

We dedicate this sterling victory to our late beloved comrade Mthunzi Mhlakane, who succumbed to death in 2014 having started the negotiation of the Relief Fund. Wherever he is in the nooks and crannies of the universe, he joins his comrade in celebrating this groundbreaking victory....Sisaqhuba Mthura nomzabalazo wabasebenzi.

Zolani Mbanjwa- FAWU National Fishing Sector Organiser