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Posted 2018-09-19 19:29:58  
Grooms Strike In PE

Some 300 grooms at the training centre at Fairview Racecourse have gone on strike for higher wages and Phumelela management will meet on Wednesday to facilitate negotiations between trainers and grooms in order to resolve the wage dispute as quickly as possible.

Luciano Passerini, who manages racing operations for Phumelela in the Eastern Cape, said the strike began on Monday.

According to Passerini, grooms at the training centre are demanding their wages be increased to a minimum of R1,000 a week – the same amount agreed to recently by trainers on the Highveld, where there are some 150 race meetings annually as opposed to only 69 in the Eastern Cape.

“The grooms held a meeting at lunchtime on Monday and, as I understood it, initially only grooms employed by trainers who refused to meet the wage demands would strike. But, in the end, they did not return to work,” said Passerini.

“We had a bit of havoc this morning. I was threatened and there was slight damage to some running rails, but there was no violence and police later removed the striking grooms from the property. Trainers have taken whatever measures are necessary to ensure that their horses are fed, watered and exercised.”

Phumelela ensures that trainers comply with the basic terms of employment but is only a facilitator and observer in wage negotiations between trainers and grooms. – Phumelela Gaming 

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