Saturday, January 12, 2013

Young Communist League Supports the Legitimate Demands of Farmworkers, But Condemns Violence in South Africa

YCLSA supports the legitimate demands of farmworkers, but condemns violence

9 January 2012

The ongoing classist `master and slave` relationship that most farmers have been enforcing through their slavery wages and the abusive treatment of workers has no place in a democratic non-racial South Africa.

We are disappointed that despite ample warning of this strike farmers failed to engage meaningfully with the relevant unions. This failure to engage workers meaningfully is a sign of both a lack of respect and a lack of leadership in the disorganized farming sector. We echo COSATU`s view that AgriSA now lacks reputable leadership, as they have failed to take seriously union demands resulting in this strike, which threatens the viability of many AgriSA members and farms as the seasons crop is going to waste.

The thousands of workers who went on strike today showed the high level of disgruntlement among workers in the sector despite bosses claiming all is well.

YCLSA Concerned by bosses demanding workers work graveyard shifts or face unlawful evictions

We are shocked that workers on some farms in De Doorns are being told that they face illegal eviction if they do not want to work tonight until 3am packing and even picking grapes in the dark. These workers reported to local YCL members that when they returned from participating in the strike action they were told they must work this “new shift” or face immediate and unlawful eviction from farms they live on. It is this kind of treatment and abuse that inspired people to strike against bosses in the first place.

The YCL has contacted some of the farms concerned and will release their names unless they undertake to retract their unlawful threats.

Violence must be avoided

We encourage workers of different races and nationalities to stand against abuse together and respect each other, as there is no room for racism or xenophobia in the struggle for equality.

While we are in full support of worker attempts to improve their wages we are very concerned by incidents of violence, especially the unfortunate and reckless violence against journalists that lead to the burning and overturning of a car.

We also call upon all stakeholders to act responsibly and to exercise restraint.

Issued by YCLSA Head Office

For more information contact:

Khaya Xaba
YCLSA National Spokesperson
Cell: 071 115 4619
Tel: 011 339 3621

YCLSA is on Twitter, please follow @YCLSA

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