The SACCAWU has accused Massmart, the owners of Makro, of using draconian measures to fire workers who participated in the strike.
Makro workers affiliated to trade union South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) have embarked on a nationwide 10-day strike for better wages which will also include a boycott of the supermarket stores.
The union claims that Massmart fired 500 workers because of their participation in the strike.
Thousands of SACCAWU members marched to Makro in Silverlakes on Friday, calling for better pay and improved working conditions. They are asking for an R900 raise or a 12% raise.
SACCAWU is also demanding a minimum wage of R8000 as well as a moratorium on retrenchments for the duration of the agreement.
It’s been almost 12 months since SACCAWU declared a wage dispute with Massmart and rejected its 4.5% wage offer. They want the commission for sales workers at Makro to be increased from the current 10% to 20%.
“We are going to sit back and mobilise and intensify the civil society to make sure that there is no store of Makro open,” says SACCAWU’s 2nd deputy president Mike Tau.
Massmart says in a statement that it has deployed outsourced retail staff to the stores affected by the strike.
According to the report, approximately 1200 SACCAWU members have resigned from the union in order to accept the company’s wage offer.
Massmart says the union’s demands are unrealistic and that there is a contradiction to the fact that SACCAWU accepted a wage offer at its Game and Builders warehouse stores.
“We know that Makro can afford whatever we are demanding they are not running this company somebody else in America is,” Tau adds.
SACCAWU has given Massmart 48 hours to respond to their demands and has vowed to mobilise civil society to close down all the Makro stores for a day and to intensify the 10-day strike if their demands are not met.