SACCAWU workers down tools at Makro stores nationwide

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More than 8 000 Makro workers affiliated with the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) have downed tools.

The union members will picket outside Makro stores across the country for 10 days. The union is demanding a 12% salary increase, with an R8 000 minimum wage.

Makro has offered a 4.5% wage increase since last year.

Makro, which is owned by Massmart, says it will address new wage demands in March 2023.

The head of media at SACCAWU Sithembele Tshwete says the company wants them to dissolve the bargaining unit, which means they can’t represent workers.

“They also have a second condition, which is that all members of the Union should resign from the union, which is something that is unheard of in industrial or labour relations in South Africa. All workers have got the right to be able to join the trade union or any other organisation for that matter of their choice that’s guaranteed in our statutes, and that’s also guaranteed in our Constitution. So, this strike is not only about wages and working conditions, but also it’s about collective bargaining.”

Meanwhile, Massmart’s Senior Vice President, Brian Leroni says they have put contingency plans at all their Makro stores to avoid further disruptions.

“Participation in strike action at our Makro stores have been subdued today. We have deployed temporary employees to stores around the country and all stores are trading normally. As matters currently stand picketing outside the stores has dropped off significantly.”