Saftu backs 'Dis-Chem D-Day' as pharmacy workers ramp up strike

Dis-Chem workers have embarked on a nationwide strike.
Dis-Chem workers have embarked on a nationwide strike.
Image: Gallo Images/Charles Gallo

Dis-Chem pharmacies are likely to get hit by protest action on Wednesday, as striking workers around the country plan to air their grievances.

Dis-Chem employees affiliated to the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) initially went on strike on November 16. Now they are ramping up the pressure with pickets, declaring Wednesday “Dis-Chem D-Day”.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) pledged its support for the striking workers, whose demands include higher wages and an annual bonus.

“Saftu is calling on all its members and all workers to demonstrate their solidarity on that D-Day with a nationwide protest," the union said in a statement. 

Workers said the company's turnover increased in the 2018 financial year from R17.3bn to R19.6bn - and there were plans to open 20 new stores in the 2019 financial year, thanks to the hard work of more than 13,500 employees.

According to Saftu, talks between Nupsaw and Dis-Chem have deadlocked.

Nupsaw members are demanding a minimum wage of R12,500 across the board, an increase of 12.5% for those who earn above R12,500, a guaranteed annual bonus and a review of the bonus policy.

However, Dis-Chem said when the strike started that the union had been advised that the company was not in a position to meet their demands.