Mining wage

Makro workers brace for ‘unlimited’ strike over pay disputes

Thousands of Makro workers are set to go on strike, due to a four-month dispute between the mass warehouse chain and the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu).

According to a statement issued by the union, more than 5,000 workers will go on strike if demands over wages and working conditions are not met.

So far, Saccawu and Makro have had four unsuccessful conciliation sessions with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the union said.

READ ALSO : Makro is rebuilding its stores after unrest in July last year

SACCAWU Requests

The union is asking for the following issues to be resolved:

  • Salary increases at all levels of R900, or 12% – whichever is greater.
  • A minimum salary of R8,000.
  • An improvement in the commission for salespeople from 10% on margin to 20%.
  • An increase in Category 3 working hours from 160 to 195 per month.
  • A 13th check, to be made separately from the December salaries.
  • A uniform allowance of R100.
  • A moratorium on layoffs for the duration of the agreement.

So far, Saccawu said Marko had only offered a 4.5% raise, which translates to R300.

“Slim” wages

“Saccawu has finished reporting and getting a new mandate from its members nationally. There is a decision by its members to go on strike.

“Makro’s current offer will not be able to allow workers and their families to meet even their basic household needs,” Saccawu spokesman Sithembele Tshwete said.

Tshwete said Makro’s stance, in light of rising inflation and rising transport and energy costs, remained “intransigent”. She said the majority of employees earn “meager” wages.

“Saccawu is finalizing preparations for an indefinite strike.”

transnet strike

Meanwhile, the economic impact of the Transnet strike has resulted in the mining sector losing an average of R815 million in lost revenue each day.

The strike is now in its thirteenth day, after employees of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and the United Transprot and Allied Trade Union (Untu) demanded a pay rise of between 12 and 13%.

On Monday, Transnet confirmed that it had reached a agreement with Untuwhose members make up 53.9% of employees in the SOE’s bargaining unit.

The three-year wage agreement covered the period from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2025.

Satawu said the Untu pay deal “not only disadvantages, but accordingly undermines the interests of the working class”.

Satawu plans to continue his strike action at Transnet until his demands are met.

NOW READ: Economic impact of mounting the Transnet strike

Compiled by Nica Richards.