Makro and Game take a hit over Black Friday


Massmart workers, including Makro and Game employees, will embark on strike action shortly after these stores launched Black November and festive season specials.

The South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) said its members who work for Massmart would down tools indefinitely from Friday.

Saccawu deputy general secretary, Mduduzi Mbongwe, told Newzroom Africa the strike action is in response to wages and changes to working conditions at Massmart.

He said the wage dispute is linked to Massbuild’s refusal to “meet a reasonable wage increase of R500 per month across the board”.

He added that Massmart unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of employment of workers.

Mbongwe said many of these terms were never put on the table for negotiations with Saccawu.

One of the complaints revolves around reduced working hours of some employees, which will significantly impact their salaries.

Mbongwe said it is a coincidence that they will down tools over the busy Black Friday period and that it was not planned.

“We have to undertake a process of consultation within the union, and unfortunately for Massmart’s management, it coincided with Black Friday,” he said.

The indefinite strike followed a 3-day strike in May and a CCMA process that did not produce the results Saccawu was looking for.

Responding to the strike action, Massmart said the strike action is primarily motivated by a Saccawu demand to reinstate retrenched Game employees.

The company said the Game employees lost their positions as the direct result of bad advice provided by Saccawu during a Section 189 process that was completed at Game in June.

“Saccawu advised its affected members not to accept alternative positions that the company had identified,” Massmart said.

Massmart proposed a solution that included re-opening the opportunity for retrenched Game employees to apply for positions from the approximately 1,100 job vacancies available throughout the Massmart group.

This offer was, unfortunately, not accepted by Saccawu leadership.

“Their response was rather to manufacture an additional dispute in the form of a wage deadlock at Builders,” Massmart said. “Our view is that this dispute cannot be resolved.”

Massmart has subsequently implemented contingency plans to ensure the continued smooth operation of its stores.

It includes mobilising and deploying Massmart experienced contract employees who are familiar with its store processes.

Massmart said it does not anticipate that the strike action will impact meaningfully on its Black November promotions.

Now read: Makro reveals Black Friday plans


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