FOS

OLN

The focus of this piece is on the prospects for the emancipation and upliftment of farm workers in the immediate to short term. It argues that both a developmental state and a strong social movement of the rural poor that includes farm workers are unlikely to emerge soon. The much more likely scenario is a continuation of the present one of a neo-liberal state willing and able to make developmental concessions when faced with more or less localised outbursts of resistance. The piece argues that significant inroads can be made against the poverty of farm workers even within this scenario if the strategic lessons offered by the Western Cape farm worker strike of 2012 and 2013 are heeded. These lessons suggest that the best way to achieve this is through an organising strategy that starts off with a focus on mobilising particularly seasonal but also permanent workers for improving and enforcing the sectoral determination and that then pursues a class struggle approach through integrating the struggles of farm workers with those of other sections of the broad working class community.

During this OLN meeting we looked at the (organizing) experiences of Community Care Workers in Johannesburg on the one hand and at some specific new or revived or alternative ways of organizing of the FOS partners in the region on the other hand. This is a summary report of all the presentations made by the participants during the two day meeting, mainly focussing on very practical examples and experiences. In addition, it includes some suggestions on how to take the exchange on practical organizing strategies forward with the OLN.

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