Anger at Shoprite over strike

2017-12-22 13:25
Shoprite. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Shoprite. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Social media users have reacted with anger to reports that Shoprite workers have downed tools on Friday, as a result of the chain store's treatment of its workers.

The South African Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) and trade union Cosatu called a strike at Shoprite and Checkers.

Among the unions' grievances are the number of part-time workers and the unilateral amendments of working hours.

Shoprite said that "only" a fraction of its employees are involved, but did not specify the scale of the strike action.

"The Group is disappointed that customers may not experience the service the Group would like to deliver in the height of the Festive Season, but it respects the rights of employees to protest in a peaceful and lawful manner.

"We are confident that we will be able to keep our customers' shopping experiences as pleasant as possible in the circumstances and thank them in advance for their understanding. Contingency plans are in place to keep stores open and trading as normal as possible," the company statement read.

Saccawu rejected the suggestion that striking workers made up any small fraction of Shoprite employees.

"They [Shoprite] are good in propaganda," Saccawu second deputy president Mike Tau told News24.

"As soon as we gave them 48 hours notice of this action today, they threatened us with retrenchments or reduced working hours for part-timers."

News24 sister publication Fin24 reported that up to 30 000 workers were expected to down tools on Friday, just three days ahead of Christmas.

Tau said that Saccawu counted 10 000 workers on strike in the Johannesburg Metro, 8 000 and in KwaZulu-Natal and the same number in the Western Cape.

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Read more on:    shoprite  |  labour action

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