Contributing and protective factors affecting the wellbeing of wine farm workers: perceptions of professionals

Le Roux, Gerhard Burger (2020-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Existing literature on wine farm workers is extremely scarce, with most sources either being outdated, or only focused on a specific aspect, like the ‘dop’ system. There has been no recent literature published which incorporates a holistic approach to identifying and addressing various challenges within their professional and personal lives. Consequently, wine workers are one of the most marginalised groups within South Africa. For this reason, leaving the unique challenges they face unidentified and unaddressed can lead to it having a serious negative impact on their wellbeing. Wine farm workers currently face a plethora of challenges within their professional and personal lives stemming from a disadvantageous past. Within the work context, these challenges include the nature of employment, work intensity, contracts, wages and deductions, occupational health and safety and risks to employment. On the other hand, challenges pertaining to living conditions include on-farm housing, alcohol abuse, patriarchal families, and lack of access to resources. Both the current work context and living conditions result in factors negatively contributing towards the wellbeing of wine farm workers. To combat these negative factors, they have various protective factors at their disposal, which are in principle designed to protect and promote their wellbeing. These include policy and legislation, ethical trade associations, trade unions, agritourism, advocating and activist groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as Employee Wellness Programmes (EWPs). Against this backdrop, this r esearch study was aimed at identifying and understanding the contributing and protective factors affecting the wellbeing of wine farm workers through the perceptions of professionals. A qualitative research approach was used in order to record rich accounts from participants, whereas descriptive and exploratory research designs were utilised to affirm their various perceptions. The study utilised non-probability, purposive and snowball sampling in particular to identify appropriate participants, Ultimately, a total of 16 participants participated in the study consisting of two equally split groups. Because of the study’s focus on the perceptions of professionals regarding contributing and protective factors affecting the wellbeing of wine farm workers, these two groups consisted of farm managers and social workers working within the field of EWPs. Interviews incorporated a semi-structured interview schedule, with data gathered being analysed using a thematic content analysis approach.The studies research document consisted of two literature chapters, an empirical study and conclusions and recommendations. The first literature chapter explored the various factors that negatively contribute towards to the wellbeing of wine farm workers. In short, it described historical factors, work context and living conditions as being the main contributors negatively affecting the wellbeing of wine farm workers. The second literature chapter identified protective factors such as policy and legislation, ethical trade associations, trade unions, agritourism, advocating and activist groups and NGOs, as well as EWP services. It went on to evaluate the effectiveness of each of the above mentioned protective factors in positively contributing towards the wellbeing of wine farm workers. Chapter four, the empirical study, presented data collected from participants and literature in an integrated manner. The final chapter contained the conclusions and recommendations of the research study based on the data collected. The main conclusion drawn from the findings is that wine farm workers work under extreme working conditions, defined by a physically high workload for minimum pay. This is often accompanied by issues regarding relationships, job insecurity and a lack of new employment opportunities. On-farm housing remains volatile, with many wine farm workers having to live in inadequate and overpopulated housing. This is worsened by cultural habits exemplified by habitual drinking and violence, as well as ignorance and inexperience. Wine farm workers have been left powerless in addressing their current working- and living conditions due to the lack of effectiveness from protective factors. This has resulted in workers having limited resources at their disposal, in most cases only ethical auditing associations, agritourism and EWPs. Ultimately, policy and legislation, trade unions and advocating and activist groups and NGOs have all failed in their functions contributing towards the vulnerability of wine farm workers. These protective factors should reassess their contributions and improve co-operation for holistic intervention.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bestaande literatuur oor wynplaaswerkers is besonders skaars in die sin dat meeste bronne verouderd is of fokus op ʼn spesifieke aspek soos die ‘dop’ sisteem. Daar is geen onlangse publikasies wat ʼn holistiese benadering insluit om verskillende uitdagings binne die professionele en persoonlike lewens van wynplaaswerkers te identifiseer en aan te spreek nie. Wynplaaswerkers is dus een van die mees gemarginaliseerde groepe in Suid-Afrika. Gevolglik, as die unieke uitdagings wat hulle ervaar ongeïdentifiseer en onaangeraak gelos word kan dit lei tot ʼn ernstige negatiewe uitwerking op hul welstand.Wynplaaswerkers ervaar tans ʼn magdom uitdagings in hul professionele en persoonlike lewens wat spruit uit die ongeregthede van die verlede. Binne die werkkonteks sluit hierdie uitdagings die aard van indiensneming, werkintensiteit, kontrakte, lone en aftrekkings, beroepsgesondheid- en veiligheid, sowel as werkrisikos in. Andersins sluit leefomstandighede behuising op die plaas, alkoholmisbruik, patriargale families en toegang tot hulpbronne in. Beide die huidige werkskonteks en lewensomstandighede lei daartoe dat faktore negatief bydra tot die welstand van wynplaaswerkers. Om die bogenoemde te bekamp is daar verskillende beskermende faktore wat in beginsel bedoel is om hul welstand te beskerm en te bevorder. Hierdie faktore is beleid en wetgewing, etiese ouditverenigings, vakbonde, agritoerisme, advokaat- en aktivistegroepe, nieregeringsorganisasies (NROs), asook werknemerhulpprogramme (WHPs). Teen hierdie agtergrond was die navorsingsstudie gemik om die bydraende en beskermende faktore wat die welstand van wynplaaswerkers beïnvloed te identifiseer en te verstaan.ʼn Kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenadering is gebruik om ryk narratiewe van deelnemers op te neem, terwyl beskrywende en verkennende navorsingsontwerpe gebruik is om die verskillende persepsies van deelnemers te bevestig. Die studie het ook gebruik gemaak van niewaarskynlikheidsteekproewe, doelbewuste steekproefneming en sneeubalsteek-proefneming om moontlike toepaslike deelnemers te identifiseer. Altesaam 16 deelnemers het aan die studie deelgeneem, bestaande uit twee ewe verdeelde groepe. Weens hierdie studie se fokus op die bydraende en beskermende faktore wat die welstand van wynplaaswerkers beïnvloed te identifiseer en te verstaan deur middel van professionele persone se persepsies het dié groepe bestaan uit plaasbestuurders en vir maatskaplike werkers wat binne die WHP-veld werk. Onderhoude het ʼn semi-gestruktureerde onderhoudskedule gebruik, en data wat versamel is is geanaliseer volgens ʼn tematiese inhoudsanalisebenadering.Hierdie navorsingsdokument bestaan uit twee literatuurhoofstukke, ʼn empiriese hoofstuk en gevolgtrekkings en aanbevelings. In die eerste literatuurhoofstuk is die verskillende faktore wat negatief bydra tot die welstand van wynplaaswerkers en -bewoners ondersoek. Gevolglik het dit die historiese faktore, werkkonteks en lewensomstandighede as die belangrikste bydraers wat die welstand van wynplaaswerkers negatief beïnvloed bespreek. In die tweede literatuurhoofstuk is beskermende faktore geïdentifiseer, naamlikbeleid en wetgewing, etiese vakverenigings, vakbonde, agritoerisme, advokaat- en aktivistegroepe, NRO's en WHP-dienste. Tot hierdie doel het dit die doeltreffendheid van elk van die bogenoemde beskermingsfaktore se vermoë om positief by te dra tot die welstand van wynplaaswerkers geëvalueer. Hoofstuk vier, die empiriese studie, het bestaan uitʼn analise van die data wat uit die narratiewe van die deelnemers en die literatuur ingesamel, geïntegreer en aangebied is. Ten slotte, het die finale hoofstuk die gevolgtrekkings en aanbeveling van die navorsingstudie bevat. Die hoof gevolgtrekking wat uit die bevindings gemaak word meen dat wynplaaswerkers onder uiterste werksomstandighede werk, gedefinieer deur ʼn fisiese hoë werklas vir minimum betaling. Dit gaan dikwels gepaard met probleme rakende verhoudings, werksonsekerheid en ʼn gebrek aan nuwe werkgeleenthede. Behuising op die plaas bly wisselvallig omdat baie wynplaaswerkers in gebrekkige en oorbevolkte behuising moet woon. Dit word vererger deur die huidige kulturele gewoontes wat getoon word deur gewone drankgebruik en geweld, asook ‘n toestand van naïwiteit. Wynplaaswerkers word magteloos gelaat om hul huidige werk- en lewensomstandighede aan te spreek weens die gebrek aan doeltreffendheid van beskermende faktore. Dit het daartoe gelei dat werkers beperkte hulpbronne, meestal slegs etiese ouditverenigings, agritoerisme en WHP’s, tot hul beskikking het. Beleid en wetgewing, vakbonde en advokaat- en aktivistegroepe en NROs het almal misluk in hul beskermende funksies wat bygedra het tot die kwesbaarheid van wynplaaswerkers en moet dus hul bydrae herevalueer en samewerking verbeter om holisties in te gryp.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109229
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