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Top Story of The Day  |  Top Story of The Day

Last updated: 18 May 2018

Choppies` Vengeance After Strike

18 May 2018

The Food and Allied Workers Union (F.A.W.U.) is dismayed at the vindictive behaviour of the management of Choppies supermarkets against some of our members who were engaged in legal protest action that started on 24 April 2018. Some 2500 members embarked on their very first-ever national strike action last month and upon their return to work, the Orkney outlet in Johannesburg has initiated disciplinary action against twelve workers for simply practising their right to a lawful strike in demand of a 10 percent wage increase and improved working conditions.

We view this to be nothing more than retaliation against workers` protest action as some of the phony charges levelled against workers date back to 2017. It appears that the industrial action by workers has taken management by surprise as they underestimated the number of members FAWU were able to recruit over the past couple of years to the extent that they are even attempting to dispute our membership figures. Workers have returned to work in the second week of May 2018 without a wage increase as the company informed us that they have not yet seen profits similar to those of their Botswana- based outlets.

FAWU`s financial team is currently in the process of verifying the accuracy of these claims. Workers at the chain stores are currently earning between R2750 and R3000 per month.

The company did however accede to the union`s demand for an annual bonus and evening transport for those workers required to work late. As part of the demand of a wage increase and as a matter of principle, FAWU has demanded that the company agrees to central bargaining so that all workers across all of their stores earn the same for the same work performed - especially since we have a membership of 2500 out of a total of about 3000 employees. The company remains instransigent and the issue will require more engagement from both parties.

We are disgusted with the company`s scare-tactics against our members as they were merely exercizing their lawful right to strike in an attempt to better their lives and those of their families. The union will do everything in its power to fight these bogus charges and defend our members as we believe it is the company`s shameful attempt to threaten workers from refraining to embark on future legal protest actions.