8 December 2022
About 80 Shoprite truck drivers protested outside its distribution centre in Brackenfell, Cape Town on Thursday.
The workers, affiliated to the Shosholoza Workers Union of South Africa (SHOWUSA), are demanding the company give all drivers a fixed basic salary and transport allowance.
Shop steward Siyabulela Njuku told GroundUp that drivers are paid per hour and have to work 195-hours per month to get a basic salary. He said drivers are forced to work overtime to compensate for hours lost while they were on leave or sick. “We want a secured basic income that we must get monthly,” he said.
Njulu said truck drivers also want Shoprite to get them transport when they work overtime or at night. He said workers currently use their own cars for these shifts. “We must service the cars, buy tyres and petrol out of our own pockets. If the bosses can’t give us transport, they must meet us halfway,” he said.
Zanekhaya Plati said they also want the company to introduce a fingerprint system to ensure that their working hours are logged accurately, and therefore will be paid accordingly. “The current system doesn’t calculate the hours we have worked accurately. It gives controllers incorrect information about our whereabouts. Sometimes they phone to ask if you have offloaded stuff in Gqeberha, while you are sitting at home in the Western Cape,” he said.
Another shop steward, Simthandile Qonya, said the truck drivers have been picketing intermittently outside the distribution center since Monday.
“We met the bosses in July and August to discuss our demands and grievances, but they raised objections. In August we took our issues to CCMA for conciliation and arbitration, but the matter has not been resolved yet,” he said.
Shoprite’s Media Team confirmed “a work stoppage by members of SHOWUSA representing a portion of Transrite employees”.
“Contingency plans are in place and there will be no interruption to the supply chain. Customers are also assured that high stock levels will be maintained.
“We always try to base dealings with employees on the principles of fairness and respect and in compliance with the provisions of prevailing labour legislation. The Group also strives to maintain amicable relations with labour unions who are sufficiently representative of our employees.”