Hundreds of Transpharm workers march to Health Department
Four hundred Transpharm workers have marched to the National Department of Health to demand it intervenes in the deadlocked negotiations.
Workers at Transpharm, one of South Africa's largest pharmaceutical wholesalers and distributors and a subsidiary of Shoprite Holdings, are currently engaged in a strike entering its second week for a minimum wage of R12 500 with the company saying it can only give them an increase of 8%.
General Industries and Workers Union Of South Africa (GIWUSA) president Mametlwe Sebei said in yesterday's meeting with Transpharm management no agreement could be reached.
"Transpharm, in response, has opened its books for the workers to see that it is incapable of meeting their demands and still remain profitable."
"Moreover, Transpharm places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the government for regulating the prices of medication."
"All this while Shoprite, the company to which Transpharm belongs, pays its chief executive 34 million per annum and its workers, a mere R4 500."
He said the march to the department would be to demand that: "If the company can't meet the just demands of the workers, then it must be nationalized and incorporated into the public health system."
Speaking to Pretoria News a driver for the company Jabu Maluleke said: "I am under the fleet department and I know how much the vehicle I use makes per day for the company but what I make for them a day and what I earn are two very different stories."
"It's nonsense, there is no balance" said Maluleke.
He said they would not back down and needed government intervention in the matter.