Cape Town - The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union (Saccawu) is urging its members not to accept Massmart's 4,5% wage offer.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Saccawu's head of research, Sithembele Tshwete, said that their concern is that they have workers who are currently earning less and can barely afford the cost of living with the current earnings from the retail giant.
“We want to boost their minimum wage that they are taking home so that at least they can afford the daily living household demands, and we can strongly say that workers in this industry cannot even to buy food with this wage, and that is why their money is spent most of the time.”
“Workers in this industry are earning as low as R600 to R2000, and that is below the national minimum wage of R2800. We are saying that we are demanding a 12% increase, which was previously negotiated to the company,’’ he said.
Tshwete revealed that they have gone to a negotiation table with the company, and the company said they would be going back to firstly negotiate with the company’s executives and the board of directors to seek a mandate, only to find out the retailed giant has been approaching workers, offering them a 4,5% increase, without them as union agreeing to that.
“We have seen a memo going around, and that was sent to all workers to accept the 4,5% increase from the company, provided that they resign from the trade union, which makes things worse because this is a collective bargaining and we suppose to conduct ourselves and company in a more honest and frank manner.”
“For them to say that workers should resign from the trade union makes the union angry. We are sitting at CCMA waiting for them because they are seeking a mandate from their board, and meanwhile, they know that they are sending a memorandum to workers to accept a 4,5% increase,” Tshwete said.
Tshwete further highlighted that they are not just demanding the increase, but the main reason is that workers in this industry are under-paid, and according to research they have conducted, they have estimated that a take-home salary of R8000 would sustain the workers.
Meanwhile, Massmart has refuted the claims that it is asking workers to leave the trade union and take the 4,5%, and it says that workers are the ones that are offering to leave or resign from the union.