Reject any wage offer below inflation, urges Vavi

2012-07-19 00:00

NOWHERE was the gap between workers and managers more wide than in the commercial sector, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said yesterday as he urged members of the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union to reject below-inflation wage increases.

Vavi was speaking at the labour federation’s national bargaining conference in Centurion yesterday.

“We have a huge national crisis of poverty and inequality, but nowhere is this more graphic than in the wholesale, retail, catering and hospitality sectors, where the gulf between those at the top and bottom of the ladder is wider than anywhere else,” Vavi said.

He said the minimum wage in the wholesale and retail sectors ranged from R2 006 and R2 299 for a general assistant,to between R4 469 and R5 489 for a manager.

While Saccawu members toiled for “poverty pay”, the heads of chain stores were earning huge salaries, he said, citing the R600 million earned by Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson last year.

“If these employers think you will accept any wage increase below inflation, they are dreaming. You need that much just to stay where you are, given the soaring prices.”

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