Groom Strike Interrupts Racing In South Africa

Assisted by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), grooms at South Africa’s North Rand Training Center went on strike this week and caused a day’s races to be cancelled at Vaal, according to The strike was reported to be over both wages and working conditions.

“I’m so sad because we’ve been working here for such a long time and we don’t get as much as we expect to get paid,” said protestor Pitso Naki. “The trainers have money to do many things. We don’t do anything because we can’t afford to do anything, so we are expecting them to raise our salaries to R7 000 (approximately US$518.74) from R2 000 (US$148.21). If not, we will continue to protest.”

The training center’s 700 horses did receive care during the three-day strike, officials said, and a settlement has been reached that has grooms returning to care for those horses. Trainer Mike de Kock reportedly suffered heart trouble during the negotiations, but is recovering well.


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