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Afrique du sud : Clicks national strike kicks off

D 6 décembre 2011     H 12:39     A SACCAWU     C 0 messages

An overwhelming majority of Clicks staff started their strike yesterday.

SACCAWU membership levels at Clicks constitutes a vast majority of employees within the bargaining unit and Union members have come out on strike from today 1st December in support of their wage demand for R397 increase across the board. Workers believe that the difference so small between Union demands and the Company position, a difference of R42 and that the Company can afford it. Given the Company performance and the rewards given to their top managers it is difficult to understand the Company’s resistance to the Union demand.

It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that the Company resistance to the Union demand is not based on their performance, but rather is informed by the strategic approach that sees labour costs as an area targeted to further increase already high levels of profits.

That the company has performed well over the recent past is reflected in their annual reports : with the total income, market share, headline earnings and profits all increased in the double digit range. At the same time, we have seen a further 32 outlets opened 31 ahead of schedule. Since 2005 Clicks pharmacy outlets increased from 60 to 251 by 2010.

Further, the rewards to top management is another indication of the performance of the company. They paid ten directors a whopping amount of R67.743 million for 2010 alone, they are still refusing to meet our reasonable demand of an increase of only R397-00 per month, what a disgrace ! One of the Company directors saw his package increase from R3.5 million in 2009 to R11.4 million in 2010, excluding share appreciation rights. We believe that in a company that pays the Chairman of the Board R27 500 per meeting, it is unacceptable that they cannot pay the R42.00 difference, legitimately demanded by us.

Surely, it is not only top management, but workers that have made this possible. The question we therefore ask is, why are we not rewarded accordingly ?

The strike will continue tomorrow where workers will stages marches in Cape Town and Johannesburg and further march is planned for Saturday in Durban.

We call on the Clicks management to grant the workers the increase they demand that led to the current strike to ensure speedy resolution of the dispute and industrial action.

Mike Abrahams, SACCAWU National Spokesperson, 1 December 2011