Strike pending as Makro pay talks collapse



Saccawu members of retail giant Makro will strike on Thursday and return to work on Saturday. We will meet again on Monday to decide the way forward: Mike Tau, Saccawu.

FIFI PETERS: Staying away from Eskom is important and just looking at the potential next solidarity strike that could hit Massmart stores, some of its store portfolio, starting tomorrow [Thursday, 15 December].

In fact, those of you who were planning to visit Game or the Food Store, or Rhino or Builders Warehouse, and even Jumbo, should be aware that there might be a little more activity around those stores than not earlier, due to the planned strike that could take place, organized by the South African Union of Commercial Catering and Allied Workers [Saccawu]who said he planned to strike in solidarity tomorrow after talks at the CCMA over Makro workers’ pay failed to pan out.

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We have Mike Tau, Saccawu’s 2nd Vice President online for more details. Mike, thank you very much for your time. Tell us what might happen tomorrow and why.

MIKE CAN: [You may] Remember, there has been a protracted dispute with Walmart-owned Makro. We started with [a demand] for 12% or R800, whichever is greater, and then some other demands on the table. But the main focus recently was the salary increase.

Last week we received a letter from the CCMA on section 150 to try and make some interventions as the company was not interested in coming at first. Then we decided [to] to give them 48 hours notice of strike for tomorrow, and we expanded the strike by law to a secondary strike at another subsidiary of Walmart.

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When we went to the CCMA, we revised our position from 8% to 7.5% and R630, whichever is higher, and the company asked us to give them until yesterday. [at] one o’clock yesterday [at] The parties met at the CCMA and the company again decided that they needed to meet with their executive, and they asked to meet again on December 19th.

But unfortunately this morning when we woke up we realized that they [had] they communicated another propaganda machine, saying that they have engaged with Saccawu and believe that the union is not interested in resolving this dispute.

We then revived our strike notice that was sent to the company last week and decided that tomorrow we will continue with a one-day industrial action, and here in Gauteng there will be a walkout to Makro. [and] we would meet And then there will be some marches in other provinces as well [or] demonstration

FIFI PETERS: Okay, Mike, let’s actually listen to the company.

Let’s see their side of the story. We have a voice memo from Brian Lerone – he’s Massmart’s Senior Vice President of Group Corporate Affairs. let’s hear each other

READ ALSO: Makro strike: Saccawu accused of ‘dealing in bad faith’

BRIAN LERONE: “From the outset, the union has been a reluctant participant in the dispute resolution process at the CCMA, and they really took the opportunity rather to walk away from the talks. It is clear that Saccawu does not want to resolve this wage dispute, and that is why we have closed the 2022 wage negotiation process. We have become quite good at implementing strike safety plans, and these have been activated in our affected stores.”

FIFI PETERS: Mike, what do you think about this and the company’s statement that it is clear that Saccawu does not want to end this wage dispute.

MIKE CAN: Let me explain this to you, that when the CCMA called us for an Article 150, then we accepted the Article 150. Then we came to the CCMA, then we made a proposal to management. Then the management said that we have to give them up until the [13th], which was yesterday, until 1:00 p.m., around one o’clock. We agreed, we gave them time. And then when they got to the CCMA, they went to caucus for a long time. Coming back they said they were meeting with their executive because they didn’t quite understand our previous position.

We have explained the position well. And then after [our] explaining the position well, they asked us to leave them until next wednesday because the executive will meet on wednesday. Now we are surprised to learn that Saccawu is not interested in resolving this dispute.

READ ALSO: Makro workers prepare for ‘indefinite’ strike over pay dispute

We blame the company because they are the ones who said we have to give them the time, twice. And while we still had our national executive committee today, when we [were] to the national executive committee, they don’t even tell us. They communicated to the members on the ground and they [said] to the partners according to them the strike is over, I mean the negotiations for 2022 are closed. So there won’t be [further] space for negotiations.

We believe they are trading in bad faith because we agreed and agreed. The party met before the CCMA commissioner…and he advised us that if we wanted to settle when the company asked for time off to meet their directors, he would request that as well. We allowed them to do that. And again, to make sure that we wanted to resolve this dispute, we suspended our strike. We wrote a letter to the company and said the strike was suspended.

But after seeing their tactics yesterday and this morning, we decided we needed to revive that 48-hour notice.

FIFI PETERS: well The company says it has measures in place. They are anticipating the strikes. I just want to know: after the one-day solidarity strike tomorrow, Mike, what happens?

MIKE CAN: Tomorrow we will go on strike and our members will return to work as usual on Saturday. And on Monday we will meet again and evaluate the strike and on Monday we will decide the way forward.

FIFI PETERS: well We will be attentive to these developments, sir. Thank you very much for taking the time to provide us with this information. Mike Tau is Saccawu’s second vice president.

This article originally appeared on Moneyweb and has been republished with permission.
Read the original article here.

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