PHUMELELA and racehorse trainers in Phumelela regions will no longer engage with any political party on grooms’ wages and other issues related to grooms following an illegal protest by grooms at the Randjesfontein training centre in Midrand on Wednesday.
It is believed that the illegal protest by grooms was organised by the EFF following some trainers retrenching grooms in order to be able to afford the minimum weekly wage. This amount was agreed to at recent meetings between trainers on one side and EFF and grooms’ representatives on the other.
Randjesfontein-based Geoff Woodruff, speaking on behalf of all trainers at the centre, said: “We have negotiated in good faith with our grooms and reached a settlement. We have told the EFF that they are a political party and have no business meddling in a labour dispute and that we will not speak with them further.
“They constantly harass grooms, trainers and assistant-trainers, and threaten violence towards anyone who tries to go about their daily work. The grooms feel very intimidated and fear for their safety, and have been given no choice but to participate in the illegal strikes.
We feel that it’s time now to bring this kind of behaviour to an end.”