Massmart assures workers, unions it’s committed to saving jobs at local stores

On Friday Saccawu organised a protest to the US retailer’s Joburg officers ver proposed store closures as part of its turnaround plan to stabilise the business.

Massmart employees participate in a protest in Sandton on 28 May 2021 against the potential closure of stores and job cuts. Picture: Veronica Mokhoali/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – Walmart-owned retailer, Massmart has said it’s committed to saving jobs at its local stores following a protest by workers over potential retrenchments.

Employees of the retail giant – which owns some of the country’s popular stores like Game, Makro, Builders Warehouse, and Cambridge Food – held demonstrations outside the head offices of Massmart in Johannesburg on Friday, to hand over a memorandum of demands.

The protest was organised by the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) over proposed store closures by the US retailer as part of its turnaround plan to stabilise the business.

Massmart’s Brian Leroni said the company’s reorganization efforts are to preserve jobs rather than shed its workforce.

“One of the allegations is that we haven’t been sufficiently mindful of job losses, and through the restructuring that we have won last year which included closing Dion Wired, throughout that 88 people have been retrenched and the remainder of people that have been involved in that restricting have been redeployed into other jobs in the business.”

Leroni said Saccawu leadership has also raised matters that have been settled after extensive consultation with the union when it first went into talks.

“From our perspective, it looks as though they are reviving historically settled matters to manufacture a dispute that serves their ambitions rather than addressing the particular interests of their membership.”

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