Outsourced Shoprite workers call for an end to outsourcing

Outsourced Shoprite workers marched to the retailer’s largest distribution centre in Centurion, Gauteng on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG - Outsourced Shoprite workers organised under the #OutsourcingMustFall movement on Thursday marched to the retailer’s largest distribution centre in Centurion, Gauteng.

The workers, about 1000 of them, downed tools last week to protest against poor pay as well as their employment through labour brokers at Shoprite.

The strike began last week on Monday morning when management allegedly denied four of the workers’ leaders entry to the workplace on Olivenhoutbosch Avenue, in Centurion.

Groups of workers key to the operation then downed tools in solidarity with their leaders and the nightshift also joined the strike.

#OutsourcingMustFall spokesperson, Clarence Debeila, on Thursday said more than 500 workers had joined the protest march to Shoprite’s offices.

“Yesterday we received a letter from management confirming that they will receive our petition. We are currently on our way there and we will give them seven days to respond to our demands,” Debeila said.

The workers were demanding a minimum wage of R10,000 and an end to outsourcing of staff. They claimed 90 percent were employed through labour brokers.

They also demanded the termination of all contracts with contractors and service providers to be replaced with full-time employment with Shoprite on a permanent basis.

Debeila said outsourced Shoprite workers were paid as little as R23 per hour for a 44-hour week, adding that some outsourced cleaners earned as low as R13 per hour.

Shoprite management has previously rejected any responsibility for the workers.

Management on Thursday was not immediately available for comment.

African News Agency

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