Massmart: Contingency plans in place ahead of Saccawu’s Makro pickets

Massmart: Contingency plans in place ahead of Saccawu’s Makro pickets

Workers affiliated to the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) will picket at Makro stores countrywide during the ‘Black Friday’ weekend.

Saccawu strike at Massmart to continue, talks on Monday

 The union says the aim of the two-day picket, which falls on one of the most popular shopping days of the year, is to pressure the company to accept their demands over wages and working conditions.

Saccawu spokesperson Sithembele Tshwete says Makro has failed to respond to various memoranda submitted to them.

"Instead of responding to our memorandum and heeding the initiative by the union to return to the table and find an amicable solution to the current dispute, the company has elected to threaten members to withhold payment of bonuses through an internal memo. In this memo Makro is forcing our members to resign from the union and singles out shop stewards to victimise and harass them.

“This is a clear violation of the country’s constitution, especially Section 18, which guarantees everyone including our members the right to freedom of association. Over and above this the company and the Massmart group have a long track record of unfair labour practices," says Tshwete.

The union is demanding a 12% wage increase across the board or R900, a minimum wage hike to R8,000 per month, an increase in sales commissions from 10% to 20%, an increase in monthly working hours from 160 to 195 hours, and a R100 uniform allowance.

The union also wants a 13th cheque in December for all employees.

 Tshwete says workers are ready to embark on an indefinite strike if their demands are not met.

Massmart’s Brian Leroni says they’re not sure how much support there is for the pickets.

"Saccawu union officials at Makro have indicated privately that they know the company can't afford a 12% increase. This is perhaps best support about the fact that Saccawu recently settled for a 4,5% increase at our Builders and Game stores.

“It also appears in our opinion to be little support for the picketing action amongst Saccawu members in the affective Makro stores. We have however implemented contingency plans at these stores and this include the deployment of temporary staff.”


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