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Grooms Action Hits Eastern Cape

Wage demands at root of action

In a show of mass action and protest for increased wages, Grooms in the Eastern Cape downed tools today and marched on the gates of the local training centre in a show of unity.

While the Gauteng and KZN regions have borne the brunt of protest action this year, the Eastern Cape Grooms have now followed suit, demanding a minimum wage of R1000 per week.

A local racing personality told the Sporting Post that the demands were not realistic, given the fact that racing at Fairview was often held only once a week and that stakes were not on a par with Gauteng. The feature programme did also not offer highly rated and well endowed features.

There were no incidents of violence reported and the protest was apparently peaceful.

Trainers, owners and jockeys were seen rolling up their sleeves to feed and look after their horses.

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8 comments on “Grooms Action Hits Eastern Cape

  1. Only 1000 f-ing rand a week. That’s all.

    Where’s the integrity, people of racing ? Horse owners and trainers, whether you like it or not these are your baby sitters !

  2. Space Invader says:

    The grooms are no different to any other group of labourers. They can strike as long as the protest does not break the law. PE racing is already making excuses. They must have known that the grooms in PE would start to make their voices known. A minimum wage must be paid to them. If a trainer cannot afford it, the trainer must close his or her doors. As I see it, if a trainer cannot pay a minimum wage to staff, the trainer will be battling to feed the horses in his or her stables. A negative knock on effect has to happen in the stables. The Racing Association should come to the party. It has lost over R10 million by buying shares in PGL.This money could have been put to better use for owners. The Racing Association earns R15 million a year from owners for nominations. If it can pay 10% to trainers as a commission, it could pay a large amount to assist grooms. The Racing Association controls the majority of issues shares in PGL through the Trust and it’s own shareholding. Through shareholders meetings it can have the right people put on the PGL board and it can make sure stakes are increased sufficientl which will assist owners and trainers and will filter down to benefit grooms. The biggest con in horseracing has been the argument that PGL only thinks of its shareholders and not horseracing.The truth is uncannily simple. Owners and trainers do not care about the shares of PGL. They are not interested in dividends. They are interested in being able to receive reasonable stakes which if their horses win or place will help pay for their horses keep and training for a few months. If stakes are increased for owners it will mean less dividends for shareholders. The majority shareholding is controlled by the Racing Association which is supposed to look out for owners interests. If you add one and one together, you should be having the Racing Association punting for greater stakes and less dividends. Whenever I hear the PGL board saying it acts in the best interests of shareholders, the board is not acting for owners, it is making decisions for the minority shareholders and their own shareholding. I have said this before and will say it again, this industry walks around with its eyes closed. There can be improvement. The minority shareholders in PGL will be against it, the majority shareholders which is the Racing Association is clueless.

    1. karel says:

      What would Larry do?

  3. The Dark Duke says:

    Larry would do whatever he was told to do by Rian. Not a difficult question to answer by any means!

  4. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    33% increases all round at Mr Milkovitch’s practice.

  5. Brett Maselle says:

    Larry would do what is right. He would put as much time and effort into this for owners as he has done for sectional timing. He would come out of with a public statement that the RA supports at the very least a minimum wage to be paid by the grooms. He would get the RA to recommend to its members that they should not support trainers who flout the law and make excuses for not paying a living wage. He would make sure that the RA through his friend at the NHA, Lyndon Barends takes steps against the trainers in terms of the NHA rules.He would not sit back and watch this play out.

    12.1 A TRAINER shall ensure that he complies with all legislative requirements and prescripts, and in particular the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, insofar as the employment of stable personnel is concerned (“the Labour requirements”).
    12.2 A TRAINER found guilty by a competent body of non-compliance with the Labour requirements, may be required to re-apply for a trainer’s licence and the non-compliance will be taken into account when such re-application is considered by the LICENSING BOARD.

  6. Johan says:

    Owners and trainers take note these grooms really do babysit YOUR horses which gives yourselves the opportunity to earn a living , so please pay them their due . R1000 a week to babysit your investment ?? It will only be fair practice. Get with the program owners and trainers of these fantastic animals called horses

  7. Steve says:

    Plough some more of the profits back into stakes and the Industry should survive!!

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