End to Dis-Chem strike in sight

THE South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union has hinted that there could be an end to the month-long strike at Dis-Chem Pharmacies.

THE South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union has hinted that there could be an end to the month-long strike at Dis-Chem Pharmacies.

The union's (Saccawu) acting regional secretary Stephen Majova said yesterday they were planning to meet Dis-Chem management, but warned that it would not be a sign of retreating.

Saccawu's change of mind follows an announcement by the employer on Tuesday that they would not talk to the union amid violence.

"The strike has dragged on for a long time and it is not good for both workers and company," Majova said.

"We are making arrangements to meet the employer soon. But if they are not prepared to talk to us we will intensify the strike by calling other affiliates (at Cosatu) and other sectors to show solidarity," he said.

Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru) issued a statement supporting them on the wage strike that started at the end on May.

"We have noted how workers continue to be brutalised and arrested on the basis of pure labour disputes yet the captains of capitalists are wining and dining in the glory of the World Cup."

Five workers were reported to have been arrested since the beginning of the strike after Dis-Chem outlets around the country were attacked

Saccawu's demands include:

lR3500 minimum wage;

l15percent across-the-board increase;

lcasual workers to be employed permanently after three months service;

l a guaranteed 13th cheque; and

l parental rights, medical aid, housing subsidy, long-term and service awards.

Majova said some workers were paid as little as R1500 a month.

Dis-Chem human resources manager Johan Osche said Saccawu had not approached the company to open another round of talks.

"We have not spoken to them in more than a week," he said.

X