Makro dismiss wage claim

2009-08-17 00:00

RETAIL giant Massmart Holdings, the holding company of Makro and Game, has dismissed suggestions the compan­y unfairly discriminated against trade union members, currently on strike at Makro chain stores, including Pietermaritzburg, amid a dispute around a salary increase.

Union-affiliated staff members argued that Makro gave non-union staff members a R460 wage-hike, while they (union-affiliated staff members) have been offered R445.

Staff members affiliated to the South African Catering and Commercial Workers’ Union (Saccawu) embarked on the strike at Makro stores earlier this month.

Brian Leroni, a Massmart executive in corporate affairs, told The Witness the company offered a R460 hike in contrast to the R470 hike initially demanded by Saccawu members.

After unsuccessful negotiations with Saccawu, the company processed the R460 hike for non-union members in early July 2009. The union revised its demand in mid-July, introducing the concept of a percentage increase. (R460 increase or an 8,5% increase, whichever amounts to more money). The company reacted by offering a R445 increase or eight percent. The company could not afford the revised demand of 8,5%. The revised offer was tabled on July 23. The parties have not reached agreement.

kavith@witness.co.za

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