Nosey Pieterse, leader of trade union Bawusa, will soon be booted from the board of the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA). Speaking on condition of anonymity, a fellow WIETA member said that statements made by Pieterse over the week-end broke WIETA’s code of conduct, a document that had been thrashed out between WIETA board-members which aimed to prohibit certain members, like Pieterse, inciting labour unrest in the wine industry as they did during the unsavoury farm-worker riots in November last year.
“Nosey is going about his old ways, despite having signed the Code of Conduct,” the source said. “The Code of Conduct was instrumental in getting the formal bodies of the wine industry into realigning themselves with WIETA. By not adhering to the code, Nosey has caused tensions to escalate between labour and industry within WIETA. These tensions have left relations between labour and the wine industry hanging on a thread.”
At a conference over the week-end, Die Burger newspaper quoted Pieterse as saying: “If there is not equality, war is to be expected.” He added that farm-workers were being sent home without pay when it rained and that school-going children were expected to pay rent. This is nothing but low intensity warfare.”
Pieterse, not known for his business savvy or economical intelligence, added that “farmers are the true beneficiaries of the new South Africa”, referring to apparent predictions that the income from South Africa’s wine exports are set to rocket.
According to Pieterse further farmworker strikes of a greater intensity than the previous ones were a reality.
“WIETA is a good code, internationally accepted and adds value to South Africa’s agricultural sector, especially in terms of image,” the source said. “But surely it cannot afford the inflammatory and divisive statements of Pieterse. His time is up.”
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