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Farmworkers secure wage deal

Cape Town - Workers in the fruit-growing region of the Western Cape on Tuesday called off a two-week strike for higher wages after clinching a 50-percent hike.

The fruit pickers and packers had gone on strike on January 9 demanding their daily wages be more than doubled.

A policeman stands guard as farmworkers protest for better wages in the Western Cape town of Grabouw on January 9 this year. The labourers have since agreed to a deal that will see them earning R105 per day. File photo: Schalk van Zuydam. Credit: Associated Press

“The strike has been suspended,” said Nosey Pieterse, general secretary of the hardline Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union.

Workers had wanted their daily wages increased from R69 to R150, but they got R105.

“We are getting better wages. This is the first bite of the cherry,” he said.

The two-week strike had been violent at times, with workers fighting running battles with police during demonstrations.

Police had responded with rubber bullets, teargas and stun grenades to repel stone-throwing protesting workers on the streets of farming towns in the province.

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