STRIKE action has begun at the Summerveld Training Centre near Shongweni in KwaZulu-Natal. A group of about 600 grooms and others attached to the centre assembled near the main gate at Summerveld at 2am on Wednesday morning, demanding mainly wage increases, three days before the running of the 2018 Vodacom Durban July.
Trainer Paul Lafferty said that trainers were alerted of the strike and that a trainers’ meeting was called for 6:30. “Trainers were allowed in and we met at the clubhouse to discuss the demands of the grooms, mainly that they want R25 an hour.
“Grooms at Summerveld are being paid at least the minimum wage required by law, there are a few other grievances we need to address. Trainer Tony Rivalland, the Summerveld Estate Manager, will be meeting with grooms’ representatives this morning.”
Lafferty said that trainers had fed and watered their horses themselves and that some were even riding work themselves. “I saw Robbie Hill riding one of his horses. Glen Kotzen is riding his own and even Andrew Bon was on a horse, helping Glen. Jockeys Sereno Moodley and Warren Kennedy managed to get in to the centre, they are helping where they can. It’s an important day for some, with hard track work needed for some horses.”
Headline photo: Trainer Glen Kotzen rode his own horses at Summerveld this morning. Andrew Bon (behind him), helped out, though he weighed out 25kg overweight.