SACCAWU representative Fuzeka Hoho said the strike was a result of workers being disatisfied with working conditions in the company.
The strike followed after the union had approached the company to negotiate on the workers’ complaints in December.
Hoho said, “The employees are unhappy about serving for 10 years as casuals without securing permanent positions. We want the company to start giving permanent jobs to employees who have been working for five years or more.”
The workers were also grappling with transport issues.
“Employees work odd hours where they finish shifts at 12 am and sometimes at 3 am. The company does not offer transport. They can be subject to rape and victims of crime.”
She said racism was another factor which allegedly affected employees.
“White and coloured employees who are new in the company get higher positions while long-serving black workers are ignored. The company should give first preference to the people who have been with the company for a long time.”
Shop steward Lumkisa Honono said, “It is painful to work for many years only to see newcomers occupying better positions. We want posts to be advertised internally. The company can only advertise publicly when the present employees do not meet the requirements. When we go forward they say the posts are frozen.”
She said when employees requested transport they were told to choose between transportation and food. Honono added that part-time workers were not paid when on sick leave.
“During these two days of striking the company employed casual workers and paid them R300 per day which does not happen for us. We are supposed to work eight hours a day, five to seven days a week, but our hours are cut without us being notified. This means we do not get the money we should at the end of the month.”
A spokesman from the company said majority of the employees returned to work on Friday.
“The Shoprite Group remains committed to resolve matters through due processes with SACCAWU in the interest of all our employees as well as our customers.”