Union plans to mobilise consumers to boycott Shoprite

30 Jun 2017 21:20pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JUN (NAMPA) – The Namibia Commercial, Catering, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (NACCAFAWU) has threatened to push for a national consumer boycott should Shoprite continue to pursue disciplinary charges against over 100 workers.
The employees staged a demonstration at Shoprite Katutura on Friday and handed over a petition to their management, demanding that it drops disciplinary charges against the over 100 employees for taking part in a national strike about two years ago.
The petition was handed over by Chairperson of the Economic and Social Justice Trust (ESJT), Herbert Jauch and received by Karen Smith, a member of the Shoprite management.
Joseph Ganeb, who is NACCAFAWU secretary-general, told Nampa Friday they will do everything in their power to make sure the workers are protected.
Ganeb promised that the demonstrations will continue until the company drops the charges.
“We are planning to have our next demonstration next Friday at Shoprite in town (central business district),” he said.
Ganeb also said they are exploring all possibilities to have Government, through the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, address the issue.
The workers submitted wage negotiations in June 2015 but Shoprite management refused to bargain, telling the workers that “if they do not like it they can go wherever they want”. Employees subsequently downed tools on 28 and 29 July 2015, but returned to work after assurances from top officials of the Labour Ministry and office of the Employment Equity Commissioner that they would look into the problems.
Shoprite then decided to lodge disciplinary proceedings against those employees who participated in the strikes. However, several workers in Windhoek had the disciplinary charges against them withdrawn at the commencement of the hearings.
In Rundu, 110 workers and another 66 in Gobabis were dismissed, and only the workers in Windhoek were permitted to obtain legal representation. Shoprite provided no explanation or justification for the disparate treatment.
Jauch told Nampa the ESJT is working with sister organisations - South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union and the Union Network International in South Africa - to put pressure on the Shoprite management to have the charges dropped.