The Young Communist League (YCL) called for a boycott of Pick n Pay products today in solidarity with unionised employees who are planning a strike.
“We implore on all South Africans to join in on this consumer boycott as the profits they generate for Pick n Pay never trickle down to the working class and the poor,” the league said in a statement.
The YCL said workers’ wage demands were a “pittance” compared with what senior management, shareholders and the chief executive officer of the company were earning in bonuses and dividends.
“This also happens when Pick n Pay has just recently declared huge profits from the same sweat and toil of the workers.”
The SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union said about 27 000 Pick n Pay employees were preparing to go on strike.
The parties would meet on October 26 to draw up picket rules.
The union was upset that the retailer was only offering an inflation-related wage adjustment for 2011 and 2012.
Workers, however, wanted a R550 per month increase – or 12%, a 10% staff discount on basic food items, increased working hours to about 120 per month for part-time workers, and a one-year wage agreement.
The union also wanted an end to the use of labour brokers, and the establishment of a centralised bargaining forum for the retail and wholesale sector.
Saccawu also complained that the company had offered to bring back the annual year-end party, which the union viewed as buying loyalty.
Pick n Pay had never suspended the yearly year-end function, a spokesperson said.
Saccawu members would continue to hold general meetings over the next two weeks to prepare for the strike and consider the company’s position on picket rules.