Today's Labour News

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handshake thumb medium90 90GroundUp reports that a six week strike by more than 130 workers at a Spar distribution centre in Gqeberha has ended after they reached an agreement with management last week.

Workers had demanded a salary increase of 8.1% against the employer’s offer of 3%.  According to the workers, their distribution centre branch paid a salary of R5,300 per month, while other centres paid about R12,500. Berito Juku of the Transport Retail and General Workers Union advised that they called off the strike because the employer agreed to introduce new salary structures and benefits. Juku said the strike was protracted by Spar’s management, which had wanted to take disciplinary action against 99 workers: “The company wanted to charge 99 members but we negotiated and the number was reduced to 37 workers. We will defend these workers because we can’t allow our members to be charged or dismissed for things that happened during a protected strike.” Mandisa Mbikwana, HR Development Officer for Spar Eastern Cape, said the company had withdrawn the lockout which it had imposed against the workers. “The strike related to the union’s demand to bargain – which the company was and remains unwilling to accede and not a salary increase,” she stated. Mbikwana explained that the workers were previously paid “based on a productivity scheme” but that Spar had since agreed to revert to a more traditional, time based method of payment. She said the company was still pursuing disciplinary cases against several union members for misconduct and disruptions caused during the strike.

  • Read the original of the report in the above regard by Joseph Chirume at GroundUp

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