Truck drivers blockade chicken abatoir
Cape Town - Truck drivers in Grabouw in the Western Cape blocked access to a chicken abattoir on Friday in a protest over wages.
A Sapa correspondent reported that some of the 180 protesters, who had been on strike since Wednesday, blocked access to the Elgin Free Range (EFR) Chickens Abattoir and Production plant.
“The 10 truck drivers employed by the company have blocked the gates and this is the second day that deliveries are being prevented,” said Raymond Barties, a representative of the Workers Against Regression Union (WAR).
The employees allege they were not being paid overtime as required by labour law.
“We have been told that there are two contracts, one that provides for certain overtime payments and one that does not,” said Barties.
Management was in talks over the dispute, EFR's general manager Linka Bester said.
The company supplies more than 75 000 chickens per week to large retail chains, delis, and restaurants.
Truck driver Piet Kok said: “We will not leave before management meets our demands.”
Another driver, Colven Smith, claimed they sometimes had to work long hours from 3am until 10pm.
“Some of us also have to work on Sundays without overtime pay,” Smith alleged.
Margaret le Roux, secretary of the Grabouw Civics Organisation, said it fully supported the protest and was monitoring the situation.
“If their demands are not met we will mobilise our supporters and join the workers,” she said.
Grabouw police were on the scene and public order policing had been called in as reinforcements.