A South African farm workers strike that began last year recently resumed, with farm workers and police clashing in a series of increasingly violent demonstrations.
In August of last year, a group of farm workers in the Western Cape region of South Africa walked off the job, an act that quickly spread to nearby farms and led to a widespread, organic strike. While the strikers were not organized by any political party of trade union, it has been rumored that they were inspired by the Marikana miners’ strike that took place in 2012.
The initial strike lasted until December 4, with farm laborers calling for an increase in wages and better working and living conditions.
The strike was temporarily suspended in December as farmers and farm workers sat down to negotiate a potential settlement. Announcing, however, that farm owners flatly refused a wage increase, farmers have resumed their strike, which quickly turned violent as police and strikers clashed in a series of engagements this week.
Striking farmers remain undeterred, however, vowing to continue the strike and calling on South African President Jacob Zuma to intervene on behalf of farm workers.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer