Deal reached to end S. Africa's sugar workers

The striking workers will return to work on Monday.

Deal reached to end S. Africa's sugar workers

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Africa's Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), which has been negotiating on behalf of striking sugar workers, says they have reached an agreement with the sugar manufactures to end the nearly two-week strike.

"There will be a 10-percent wage increase for the lowest paid workers; 9-percent increase for middle band and 8.75-percent for the higher band," FAWU General Secretary Katishi Masemola told Anadolu Agency late Friday.

He said the workers will return to work on Monday.

Over 5000 sugar industry workers went on strike on May 27 to demand permanent employment for all fixed-term and other contract workers, in addition to pay raises.

The workers had demanded an 11-percent wage increase but the employers were offering only 8.5-percent salary raises.

On Monday, South Africa's Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, which is tasked with resolving disputes, brokered a special meeting between employers and representatives of sugar industry workers leading to the new settlement.

The strike was being staged in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces, which are both centers of South Africa's sugar manufacturing industry.

According to the FAWU, the strike involved the entire sugar-milling and refining value-chain.

Sugar is manufactured by six South African milling companies, with 14 mills operating in the country's cane-growing regions.

South Africa's three main sugar producers are Tongaat Hulett, Illovo Sugar and TSB Sugar.

According to the South African Sugar Association, the industry produces an average of 2.2 million tons of sugar per season.

About 60 percent of this is marketed in the Southern African Customs Union, a five-nation regional trade bloc, while the rest is exported to markets in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere in Africa, according to the sugar association.

Last Mod: 07 Haziran 2014, 10:09
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