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Fawu declares new sugar dispute

Johannesburg -

Days after a wide-ranging sugar sector strike was resolved, trade union Fawu on Sunday said it had declared a new dispute.

Durban Tongaat Hulett Sugar strike. PICTURE: SIBUSISO NDLOVU. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“FAWU has declared a dispute with the South African Sugar Research Institute (SASRI) which involves 215 workers and with Illovo Sugar's seven plantations,” the Food and Allied Workers Union general secretary Katishi Masemola said in a statement.

“Conciliation/mediation processes are expected to follow in a few days from now.”

On Friday, a strike by around 5500 sugar refining and milling workers, mostly Fawu-affiliates, was resolved after a settlement agreement was reached.

A 10 percent increment was secured for the sugar industry's lowest-paid workers, with a nine percent increase for the middle band and 8.75 percent for the higher band of workers.

The workers had downed tools on May 27, demanding a wage increase of 11 percent across the board, a 40-hour work week, and an R800 monthly housing subsidy.

The workers are now expected back on the job on Monday.

Masemola said that the union was aware that some members at the Durban Tongaat-Hullet Sugar refinery were not happy with the settlement: “They had hoped for an at least 10 percent wage increment across the board.”

Masemola suggested that meaningful engagement between the employers and unions continued. - Sapa

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