SPAR EMPLOYEES PROTEST

The Benoni Spar employees protest (corner Tom Jones St and Lake Ave in Benoni CBD), calling for an end to their violated workplace rights.The demonstration took place on August 5, 2020, prior to the day of protest the employees had assigned the EFF party members to engage with the Spar management team on their behalf regarding their unsatisfying working conditions which failed to materialize.

“The issues of the employees is that they don’t know if they are employed permanently or not, they last signed a three months contract when they were hired; the management claimed UIF for some stuff members which is R4027 ( each person) but all those workers were paid just a portion of that amount, Provident fund money was deducted a long time ago but along the way it was cancelled, the employees want answers regarding that; unknown deduction of R40 per month on the employees’ salaries occurred until it stopped towards the end of 2019, some of the workers’ working hours are not paid; unknown pay day is one of their vital issue, unfair dismissal has been happening for a long time in the store; staff members feel oppressed, they haven’t received their bonuses this year, they are uncertain about the company they are working for because their salary slips are written ‘Necessitas labour solutions’ while they are employed by Spar superstore, it seems like there’s a labour broker firm between them and their employer,” reveals Phillip Makwala an EFF member who represents the unsatisfied employees. Phillip Makwala who was in the forefront of the meeting arrangement with the Spar Management prior the protest, elaborated further, saying, “we tried to have a meeting with the Spar management on the 31st of July 2020, unfortunately the management responded by saying that they can’t engage with us without the owner of the Superstore, the owner of the store was supposed to avail himself on Monday (3rd of August 2020), when we arrived on the specified day we were ambushed by security guards carrying guns and who used pepper sprays on us along with the workers, the following day we were given a court order stating that we shouldn’t be less than ten(10) metres close to the superstore.

” One of the employees who wanted her name to be off record also shared with the newspaper that, “We are protesting today because we tasked the EFF members to engage with our employer from last week Friday (31st of July, 2020) there was no outcome and on Monday (August 3, 2020) it was even worse because our representatives were intimidated with guns and subjected to pepper sprays by Spar hired security guards, which highlighted the arrogance of the store management in great detail, that they are not willing to negotiate, so we are protesting to show our frustrations today,” she explained.

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