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Woolies workers ready to down tools - union

By unknown | Sep 16, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kea' Modimoeng

Kea' Modimoeng

About 15000 Woolworths workers will down tools tomorrow in a nationwide strike to force the retailer to recognise their union, the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) said.

The union accuses Woolworths of having a "hostile attitude towards unionisation of their employees".

Lucas Ramatlhodi, Saccawu's national administrative secretary, said: "Currently we can't negotiate wages because they don't recognise us as a union, and this simply means we don't have collective bargaining rights."

Woolworths has had a number of strike actions against it in recent months but still maintains that those had a minimal effect.

Zyda Rylands, chief operating officer of support services, said: "Woolworths has been very consistent in its approach to employee rights of freedom of association - an employee may join any union of their choice."

Woolworths maintains that the strike action tomorrow will cause minimal disruptions.

"Comprehensive contingency plans are currently in place to ensure our customers are not inconvenienced by the strike," the retailer said.

But Ramatlhodi said the company would struggle to keep up with demand because "in the previous strike actions we had about an 80percent to 100percent stay-away in some Woolworths stores."


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