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Protective Equipment for farm workers

We, the affiliates of the Confederation of South African Workers’ Unions [CONSAWU], having convened in Cape Town, on the 7th –9th September 2012 comprising of unions in the vulnerable sector:   Having taken cognisance of:  
  1. The international and national legislative framework with special reference to the right to of workers to a safe and secure environment.
  2. The obligation of employers to ensure their workers live and work in safe, secure and humane conditions
  And Noting;  
  1. That workers in the agricultural workers are exposed to health hazards such as pesticides, dust, pollen and other aggravating conditions of work such as extreme climatic conditions, which impact on their health and welfare.
  2. That employers ignore international norms and standards and domestic regulations pertaining to the provision of protective gear and /or equipment to those workers exposed to such hazards.
  3. That employers continue to practice the evil ‘dop for work’ system which aggravates and compromises the health and welfare of workers and systemically perpetuates a system of bondage and economic dependence on unscrupulous employers.
  4. That employers are integral role players in the achievement of the right of workers to live and work in safe, secure and humane conditions.
  That government gives due consideration to the following demands:  
  1. The Department of Labour as custodian of the right to work must ensure compliance with both international and domestic norms and standards with regard to ensuring safe, secure and humane conditions under which workers work and live on farms.
  2. Employers must not only make available such safety gear and equipment as required in particular conditions but also ensure that workers are properly trained to use such equipment and gear.
  3. That workers living on farms have access to secure living conditions as well as access to water and electricity and medical care.
  CONSAWU will:
  1. Lobby and campaign for the rights of workers in the vulnerable sector to a better quality of life.
  2. Engage and dialogue with the DOL so as to ensure that compliance regulations with regard to safety norm and standards are adhered to in the sector.
  3. Engage and dialogue with employers under the ‘FAIR FOOD Project’ to ensure compliance with international norms and standards
  4. Dialogue with the DOT so as to address the question of free transport for scholars living on farms and in the rural areas so as to fulfill the constitutional obligation in the achievement of substantive equality for disadvantaged persons.
  5. That all training programmes and other activities on the ‘FAIR FOOD PROJECT’ give due consideration to these concerns and that these concerns be highlighted as immediate areas of concern in all dialogue forums under the ‘FAIR FOOD PROJECT’.
  The above resolution being adopted as directed by this 4thNational Congress of the Confederation of South African Workers Union held on the 15th February 2014.