Shoprite group is facing a national shutdown
Cape Town - Shoprite workers have threatened to shut down all stores in a national strike starting today.

However, the National Transport Movement (NTM) workers on strike are not employees of the company, but of a service provider contracted by Shoprite.

A notice from NTM on Tuesday said Shoprite, Checkers, U-Save and Hungry Lion stores would all be shut down due to unresolved wage disputes.

NTM deputy president, Mashudu Raphetha, says they have started negotiations with Shoprite, but managers allegedly told them the union’s demands are unreasonable.

It is understood that drivers and warehouse workers demand a minimum basic salary of R12 500, as well as a provident fund, medical aid and bonuses.

“We are saying those demands are not unreasonable and we are saying we are open to negotiations. We will intensify our demonstrations, in collaboration with the EFF,” said Raphetha.

The union said Shoprite, its subsidiaries and labour brokers were paying some employees only R400 per week, and that workers rejected this amount as “poverty wages”.

Driver Sindi Tsholo said: “We have families to feed. I have a wife and six children who depend on me, but it seems we are more in trouble for wanting a better life.

“We will see who delivers their stuff (today).”

The Shoprite Group confirms they have received notification of the pending strike action.

“The group confirms that it has received a copy of the notice issued by the union and that employees of the service provider have been on strike at the group’s Centurion distribution centre since May 2018,” it said.

A protracted strike could prove disastrous for Sassa beneficiaries who cash in at Shoprite stores on the first of each month, and where pensioners usually get discount.

Pensioner Gina Siebritz, 67, from Netreg said she will wait out the strike.

“I will go when the strike is over and get the neighbours to help me eat till then,” she says.