Mercoledì, 24 Febbraio 2016 20:32 | UFS mum on agreement with contract workers

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Bloemfontein – The University of the Free State didnot share any details on the deal it struck with its contract workers onThursday that resulted in an end to a chaotic strike.

The university issued a short statement in which it saidworkers were expected back at work next Monday following a successful meetingwith the institution's management.

"Earlier today, the management of the University ofthe Free [UFS] reached an agreement with contract workers about negotiationstowards outsourcing, as well as their concerns about conditions of employmentwith their employers," the statement read.

News24 earlier spoke to Trevor Shaku, who is on thestudents and workers forum.

Shaku explained that the agreement reached was that oncethe workers' contracts expired, the university would employ them directly. ByJuly 2017, every worker would be insourced, he said.

Best news ever

One of the workers, Vuyani Maseti, said he could nowenjoy working at the university. "We were in pain, but now our crieshave been heard. This is the best news I have ever heard," he said.

Sandile Baleni said his life would change for thebetter.

"I am glad everyone's demands have been met. It washectic but we are going to enjoy the fruits of our struggle."

The strike by contract workers resulted in the arrest of39 on Monday. They were found to be in contempt of court relating to aninterdict that prohibited illegal gatherings.

"The group was released on Tuesday 23 February 2016.Discussions with the university management continued after their release and anagreement was reached today," the institution said.

Protest action by the contract workers started onlast Thursday.

Students had joined the protest, which turned violent.The statue of SA's first state president, Charles Robberts Swart, wasvandalised and toppled.

On Monday, a small group of protesters disrupted aVarsity Cup rugby match at Shimla Park Stadium, which culminated in the massbrawl between themselves and spectators.

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