Strike action starts at Makro and other Massmart stores – here are the workers’ demands

The South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) will begin an ‘indefinite strike’ on Friday (19 November) at group companies owned by Walmart-led Massmart Holdings in South Africa.

On Tuesday (16 November), Saccawu notified Massmart of its intention to embark on a no-work, no-pay strike.

Strike certificates that were submitted to Massmart had the following:

  • A 10% wage increase for workers at Builders;
  • Reinstatement of Game employees into their original jobs;
  • Better car and mobile phone allowances for approximately 170 Makro customer relationship officers.

Massmart says there are employees who wish to accept the company’s offer of 4%, rather than to go on strike, and that it has identified alternative jobs for Game employees – which they did not accept under instruction from Saccawu.

“This intended strike action coincides with a time of year when Saccawu members will potentially have higher household expenditure resulting from festive season expenses. It is also a period when Massmart employees can typically earn high sales commissions as the result of increased foot traffic in our stores,” Massmart said.

These are issues that could cost striking Saccawu members up to 25% of their November wages, on the view that they may embark on a week-long strike, the group said.

“We have been proactively engaged for many months with Saccawu leadership, including with the assistance of the CCMA and have put forward proposals toward finding solutions, only for these to be stonewalled,” said Massmart chief executive Mitch Slape

“This is an unhelpful approach in the context of the many constructive partnerships that are required to achieve inclusive economic recovery in South Africa.”

Massmart said that strike contingency plans have been implemented to ensure the continued smooth operation of its stores, which includes mobilising and deploying experienced contract employees who are familiar with store processes.

“We would also like to thank all the customers who have expressed their support for the company, and most notably our customers in Kwa-Zulu Natal,” it said.


Read: Massmart executive speaks out on planned strike at Makro stores

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Strike action starts at Makro and other Massmart stores – here are the workers’ demands