Muheua to meet Shoprite management regarding strike

02 Aug 2015 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 02 AUG (NAMPA) – Shoprite-Checkers management, representatives of the Namibia Commercial Catering Food and Allied Workers Union (NACCAFWU), and the Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Alpheus Muheua, will meet on Monday to deliberate on the strike at the retail group.
Hundreds of Shoprite-Checkers employees from Shoprite in Katutura, Checkers at Maerua Mall, Shoprite in Katima Mulilo and Shoprite at Gobabis went on a two-day strike last week, demanding various benefits from their employer.
Amongst others, they demanded medical aid, transport and housing allowances. The employees are unhappy with their salaried; say they get no lunch or coffee breaks; and also demanded to know why they were allegedly prohibited from joining a trade union.
In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, a Shoprite-Checkers shop steward for NACCAFWU, Joseph Nambinga, confirmed that the three parties will meet Monday to look into the grievance of the employees as stated in a petition handed over to the Shoprite-Checkers management.
Monday's meeting follows on the heels of a planned meeting by the three parties last week, which failed to take place as the Shoprite-Checkers management failed to show up.
In an earlier interview with this news agency, the deputy secretary general of NACCAFWU, Joseph Garoeb, also confirmed that a meeting was arranged between the three parties.
“We have been arranging meetings for the past two years with management, but they fail to pitch up. So, the workers resorted to industrial action in order to force management to meet their demands,” said Garoeb.
Workers staged a peaceful demonstration last week at various outlets across the country demanding better wages and working conditions.
Shoprite and Checkers fall under the Shoprite Holdings brand, a South African supermarket chain that operates 371 outlets in 51 countries.
The workers also are demanding, amongst others, a wage increment ranging from 10 per cent to 60 per cent depending on their salary scales; a transport allowance of N.dollars 620; a housing allowance of N.dollars 1 500; and a company medical aid contribution of 60 per cent.
During the two-day strike, Nambinga said the management of Shoprite recruited new casual workers, but their services were terminated after the workers returned to work.
Efforts from this agency to get comment from the Shoprite-Checkers management proved futile.