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The Workers and Socialist Party salutes Clover Workers for standing up against their bosses and demanding better working conditions. We are in full support of the strike demands and call for further solidarity.
Over 2000 workers have embarked on a nationwide strike on 13 October at foods and beverages company Clover demanding:
- a wage increase of 16%
- an end to labour broking
- permanent employment and job security for labour-brokered and casual workers
- increases in benefits and allowances
- an end to the compressed work week
A boycott in support of the strike action has also been called and WASP will be campaigning for this wherever we can. We urge all working class activists to do the same.
We know that Clover is a vicious exploiter of workers. This strike is a result of the struggles over the recent years reaching boiling point. Company bosses have stubbornly resisted workers’ demands, including those that would make only a marginal improvement to workers’ lives. For example, for seven years Clover stubbornly refused to change its pay slip to reflect payments for work done on public holidays, despite instructions from the Department of Labour.
As one of the corporations continuing to operate during the lockdown, Clover bosses have had little or no regard for workers’ lives. They have demonstrated contempt towards essential workers despite the fact that these workers risked their health working at the pandemic peak – ensuring that food was produced for society, while Clover continued to reap profits.
The arrogance and heartlessness of the bosses is all too familiar to workers. As the dairy giant in South Africa, Clover continues to amass profits while offering workers crumbs. The vast majority of Clover workers earn below a living wage despite the soaring profits Clover has boasted over the years. Evidence of the company’s profitability lies in the fact that Milco SA, a consortium led by Israel’s Central Bottling Company, purchased a majority stake in Clover in 2019. Despite the workers’ objection to this, based on solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli imperialism, the state authorities approved the merger.
WASP calls for both local and international solidarity with the Clover workers, and with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Clover workers recognise that their struggle is not only against their ruthless bosses, but the system of capitalist exploitation. Clover and Milco’s unholy alliance must be exposed for what it is: the pursuit of profits at all costs, even at the expense of human life.
We are outraged that on the very first day of the strike, a worker lost his life at the hands of the police. After peacefully marching away from the premises of Clover, riot police began antagonizing and firing rubber bullets and tear gas at fleeing workers. As Khilson Manaka fled, he was fatally struck down by a car. WASP holds responsible the murderous SAPS, which has turned into an aggressive private militia of the bosses, actively disrupting pickets and workers strikes. The ANC government continues to act as the loyal servant of Capital and as such is responsible for the senseless murder of Khilson Manaka and all workers who lose their lives at the mercy of Capitalism. The Clover bosses, whose actions resulted in this attack on workers, must be held responsible for this senseless loss of life.
The bosses’ and the state’s actions must be met with the full power of the labour movement and all progressive forces. Solidarity is the only means through which justice can be guaranteed and ultimately victory in this decisive strike at Clover. We call on Clover workers organised in FAWU, who have unfortunately not yet joined the strike, to join this fight now and continue the strong tradition of worker solidarity and united struggle against the bosses that exploit them all.
We must use the momentum of this strike to take the struggle forward and campaign for a minimum wage of R12 500 in the whole food industry. Now is the time for the working class at large to put our weight behind SAFTU’s Living and Social Wage Campaign rejecting poverty wages and fighting for a decent life for all.
How to show solidarity:
- Join workers picketing at:
|Clayville 25 Axle Drive, Olifantsfontein||City Deep 9-35 Fortune St, City Deep||Waters Plot 98, Doornkloof East, Irene|
2 Rainbow Close, Rainbow Park, Racecourse Road
|CDC – Airport Bahrain Dr, Matroosfontein||Parow 9 Parin Rd, Industria|
|Bloemfontein 58 Harvey Rd, Oranjesig||Hamilton Cnr Tannery & Robert Burns St|
|KZN, New Castle, Queensburg 100 Richmond Road||Limpopo, Polokwane 50 Fosfaat Street , Laboria||Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth: 36 Kurland Rd, Perseverance|
- Boycott Clover products
- Email Clover management letters of protest directly to Clover CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post on social media your support for striking workers with #CloverStrike
Contact Tino for more information on solidarity actions: 064 988 2681