Food and Canning Workers' Union

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The South African Food and Canning Workers' Union was established in 1941 by Rachel Simons. It was a founder member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions.

It spread through the fruit canning industry of the Boland, Western Cape and up the west coast among fishing communities. Many of the members were women.

In 1945 it obtained a Wage Determination for the fish canning industry which improved wages and working conditions.[1]

Oscar Mpetha became the General Secretary in 1951.

In 1979 it organised a successful consumer boycott. At that time it had about 25000 members.[2]

It was one of the members of the Federation of South African Trade Unions established in 1979.

In 1982 Dr Neil Aggett was the leader of the union, though unpaid. He was detained on 27 November 1981 and died in detention.

It amalgamated with the Sweet, Food and Allied Workers' Union and the Retail and Allied Workers' Union to form the Food and Allied Workers Union


  1. ^ "About FAWU". Food and Allied Workers Union. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  2. ^ Kiloh, Margaret; Sibeko, Archie (2000). A Fighting Union. Randburg: Ravan Press. p. 73. ISBN 0869755277.