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2021-11-17

Massmart response to Saccawu

Notwithstanding a media briefing held by Saccawu, Massmart confirms that we have not yet received notification of strike action by the Union as required by the Labour Relations act.


| Atmosphere

We are however aware that Saccawu leadership is cajoling its members into taking strike action during the current trading period. It would appear that Saccawu’s approach has, in cases, involved threatening reluctant members to participate in a strike at a time when they would typically maximise sales commission based earnings due to higher footfall and sales volumes in our stores.

Consistent with our previous experience the rationale for the threatened strike action is not immediately clear. A Saccawu spokesperson Sithembele Tshwete has variously referenced wages, working conditions and restructuring in news interviews. Strike action relating to wages and working conditions would be illegal on the basis that the strike certificate on which Saccawu is relying for this action relates primarily to Section 189 restructuring processes.

This would further reinforce the unfortunate reputation Saccawu leadership appears to be developing for providing its members with ‘bad advice’.  Specifically,
Saccawu leadership recently advised its members employed by Game not to accept alternative positions that the company had identified following the implementation of a Section 189 process that was completed at Game in June this year. The result was that the affected employees lost their jobs.

The matter was taken to the Labour Court by Saccawu leadership, where the court ruled that Saccawu had provided ‘bad advice’ to its members saying, ‘It is not unfair for this Court to respectfully comment that the advice to the members was bad advice.’

The Labour Court went on to state that if Saccawu had not provided the advice then, ‘the employees would still be employed and kept their much treasured job security.’ The Labour Court concluded by stating that the advice provided by SACCAWU was ‘treacherous and dishonest beyond measure.’

We understand that SACCAWU finds itself in a difficult situation as a consequence of this ruling by the Labour Court. We have therefore proposed re-opening the opportunity for retrenched Game employees to apply for positions from amongst the approximately 1 100 job vacancies that are available throughout the Massmart group. This offer has, unfortunately, not been accepted by Saccawu leadership which is indicative of their unwillingness to engage constructively with the company.   

Massmart has implemented the necessary strike contingency plans including the deployment of Massmart experienced temporary employees who are familiar with our processes to ensure the continued smooth operation of our stores.

Makro, Game and Builders are releasing new Black Friday deals each week during the full month of November, rather than on a single day. These deals are released on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week rather than on a single Black Friday. This month long Black November promotion, which has been running since 1 November, follows positive reaction from customers when it was first launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. We do not therefore anticipate that the potential strike action will impact meaningfully on the promotion.


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