Sydafrika : Strejkende arbejdere kalder på international støtte

30.maj 2010 – – 05:12

JOHANNESBURG (* ) Mens de internationale kapitalistiske medier sendte flere tusinder af journalister, fotografer og redaktører til Sydafrika for dække VM i den guddommelige sport fodbold, har de to tusind (2000) strejkende arbejdere på “Dis-Chem”, ikke fået et minuts opmærksomhed i de samme medier.
De kapitalistiske ejere af Dis-Chem Pharmacies nægter at forhandle med fagforeningen SACCAWU, som arbejderne er organiseret i.
Derfor blev arbejdet nedlagt den 27.maj som en protest mod ejernes og fabriksledelsens arrogante afvisning af kollektive forhandlinger Efter næsten to måneders strejke appelere arbejderne nu om international støtte og solidaritet.

Støt de strejkende arbejdere i i SydAfrika

Dis-Chem Pharmacie- koncernen har nu opsagt overenskomsten og nægter at forhandle med fagforbundet SACCAWU, the union representing its workers. Instead of negotiating with the union over its demands, the company unilaterally raised wages based on merit, with a majority of workers getting below-inflation pay rises. Working conditions are worsening, and more and more workers are employed on a casual basis. The union also accuses Dis-Chem of wage disparities based on race. As a result, since 27 May the workers have been on strike and have asked for international support for their struggle.

Arbejdernes krav er : en minumumløn på R3,500 ; 15% across the board increase; conversion of casuals to permanent after three months; guaranteed 13th cheque; parental rights, medical aid, transport allowance and improvement of other benefits.

Brev fra Ethelina, en af arbejderne på den strejkeramte sydafrikanske Dischem-koncern :

The Life of Ethelina a Dis-Chem Employee
“My name is Ethelina and I am fifty-eight years old. I am on strike at
Dis-Chem. I work as a cleaner. I’ve been working for Dis-Chem since
January 1996 and I still only earn R3600-00 per month. I live in a
shack in Orange Farm, I started at Dis-Chem Randpark Ridge but was
transferred to Cresta.
Every morning I get out of bed at 3:30am and leave the house before
4:00am, when my family is still asleep, to make sure I get to work on
time at 7:00am. When I get home in the evening it is already dark,
after seven sometimes even after 8:00pm. Then I must still cook, iron
and wash clothes, feed and wash the little-ones before I can go to bed
at after 10:00pm, because I must be fresh at four in the morning to go
to work. Many times when the train is full I have to stand all the
way. Sometimes I am so tired, I don’t even have energy to cook, and I
just give the children bread and tea and put them to bed.
My train fare is R150-00 per month and I spend a further R15-00 per
day on taxi-fare, this mean I spend more than R300-00 on taxis every
month. Every second week I work over week-ends and get one day-off
during the week. I am the sole bread-winner in the family and have
four dependents to take care of, two of my own children – young men
who are still unemployed and looking for work and two grandchildren.
In Orange Farm where I live, I stay in a one-bedroom shack, I want to
extend it and even later build a proper brick-house for my family, but
with my income and given my age it will not happen.
In 2003 I had an accident and my leg was broken, my leg was in a cast
and I was in a wheelchair, but my bosses insisted I must come to work.
I had to sit in a wheelchair still mop the floors, or I was going to
loose my job. This was degrading and humiliating and I felt very angry
and insulted by this.
My daughter Mavis also worked at Dis-Chem for seven years until she
got to sick and passed-away, now I’m taking care of one of her
children as well. While Mavis was sick, and with no-one to take care
of her I asked my bosses to give me a few days off to make
arrangements to send her to my sister in Cape Town that is at home and
will be able to take care of her, but the bosses did not believe me.
They insisted I must first bring my sick daughter to work so that they
can see if she really is sick. Even when she came back from Cape Town
later they told me to bring her to work to see if she is still sick,
they did not believe me.
Shortly after that my daughter passed-away. When I went to the company
about funeral benefits, they told me my daughter was out of work for
to long and I received no funeral benefits for my daughter, despite
the fact that they deduct funeral benefits. For Provident Fund they
only gave me R5000-00 and told me the rest of the money must go
towards paying tax, they did not even tell me how much it was. I had
to depend and donations from family and friends and still had to
borrow money from the loan sharks to arrange the funeral and bury my
daughter. Today I’m still paying that loans, that’s why I don’t think
I’ll ever extend my shack or build a house for me and my family
All this make me very angry. I’m not the only one who suffer like
this, there are many of my fellow-workers who suffer like this at Dis-
Chem. This Company does not care about us workers, that is why I have
joined SACCAWU and that is why we are determined to strike until Dis-
Chem meet with our Union.”

Dis-Chem Pharmacies workers at outlets throughout the country has been i strejke siden 27 May 2010.
The workers krav:
Workers demands:
• Meaningful engagement with our Union aimed at meeting the following
fair and reasonable demands;
• A minimum wage of R 3 500-00 per month;
• An across the board increase of 15%;
• All casual employees should be converted to permanent full-time
employees after three months of employment;
• Parental Rights; a subsidized Medical Aid Scheme; a housing subsidy
and meaningful long service awards.
• An immediate end to all forms of harassment and intimidation of
workers who are currently on strike and are exercising their right to
picket;
• That the Company should practice cordial industrial relations.
mike abrahams
SACCAWU media officer
contact:
Head office 0114038333
Thabo Mahlangu 0823365682
Mike Abrahams 0716288474 (please contact me to get into contact with Ethelina)

Brev fra “Dis-Chem”-arbejderen Ethelina

Press Release – National Strike at Dis-Chem Pharmacies Looming

SACCAWU members at more than forty Dis-Chem Pharmacies nationwide are preparing for a nationwide strike from 27 May. Over the last year Dis- Chem has consistently demonstrated a hostility towards its employees joining SACCAWU and actively participating in union activities. Earlier this year SACCAWU had to declare a dispute to compel the company to recognise SACCAWU. Currently the company refuses to bargain with SACCAWU over wage increases and other issues of terms and conditions of employment. SACCAWU once again had to go to the CCMA on the issue of bargaining rights for our members. The outcome of the CCMA sitting granted SACCAWU a certificate which allows our members the right to embark on a protected strike to press for our demands. Consequently, workers at all Dis-Chem outlets have decided to embark on a national strike. Today, Tuesday 25 May the parties will meet at the CCMA to agree on picket rules. We are aware of the tendency by companies often in collaboration with Mall managers to seek picket rules that render pickets ineffective and undermine workers right to strike. SACCAWU will oppose and challenge any attempt to such picket rules.

Workers demand:
Dis-Chem must recognise SACCAWU`s right to bargain for our members

Despite the economic crisis over the last year we have witnessed a slight decline in retail sales in general, recent statistics show that the retail pharmaceutical sector has been doing very well, with an increase in sales of more than 7%. This indicator, we believe makes it entirely possible for Workers further demand:

• R3500-00 minimum wage
• 15% across the board increase
• conversion of casuals to permanent after three months
• guaranteed 13th cheque
• parental rights, medical aid, transport allowance and improvement of other benefits

Contact:
Head office 0114038333
Lee Modiga 0823365327
Mike Abrahams 0716288474
Mduduzi Mbongwe 0823365146

Mike Abrahams
media@saccawu.org.za

SACCAWU betyder : SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union

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