Workers at Shoprite pharmaceutical subsidiary strike for R12 500 wage

Unionised workers of Shoprite subsidiary, Transpharm, have embarked on a strike in a bid to secure salaries of R12 500.  

According to a statement from the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), about 400 members of its affiliate, the General Industries and Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa), who work at Transpharm, went on strike on Thursday and will continue with the strike action on Friday.

"Saftu is in full support of the Transpharm workers and will mobilise to begin a national campaign against these draconian labour laws, as well as fight for the living wage of R12 500 demanded by the Transpharm workers," the federation said.

Shoprite confirmed to Fin24 that members of Giwusa are striking at Transpharm's distribution centre in Pretoria, Gauteng. Transpharm distributes pharmaceutical products and surgical equipment to pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, dispensing doctors and veterinary surgeons across South Africa.

Shoprite said contingency plans are in place to make sure operations continue as "normal as possible" and to mitigate any risks.

"We are confident that we will be able to supply our customers’ orders and deliveries as efficiently as possible in the circumstances and thank them in advance for their understanding," Shoprite said in a statement.

Shoprite also said it offers "market related salaries" and is prioritising a resolution with the parties involved.

While Saftu claimed that the company is seeking a court interdict to stop the strike, in its response to Fin24, Shoprite said it is striving to maintain "amicable relations" with labour unions.

"We have always made an effort to base dealings with our employees on the principles of fairness and respect and in compliance with the provisions of prevailing labour legislation," Shoprite said.

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