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Shopsteward Volume 27 No. 2

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  |  Affiliates Press Statements

Why we`re striking at OK Furnishers and House & Home

5 December 2012

Today throughout the country workers and the poor compel us to see and choose sides. The high levels of poverty, inequality and poverty are the source of many struggles and strikes. These struggles and strikes by workers and the poor compel us to see this inequalities and ask us to choose sides. This is what the planned strike also ask from us! Choose the workers legitimate demand and do not patronise OK Furnishers and House & Home for your Christmas shopping, do not spend your bonuses there!

On 16 November SACCAWU members signalled there intention with a vibrant and militant march through the streets of Johannesburg that brought traffic to a standstill as hundreds of SACCAWU members handed over a memorandum with their demands to management at Eloff Street OK Furnishers.

The Company was given 72 hours to respond. The arrogant and hardline response from the Company, a common trend amongst bosses – from mining to farming – simply stated, “As regards the demands contained in the memorandum, the Company wishes to reiterate that your demands are not acceptable.”

Workers know, OK Furnishers and House & Home is part of the Shoprite Group. Workers know of the enormous profits they make. Earlier this year the Company reported, “Despite the tight squeeze on working class disposable incomes and a reduction in durable goods consumption, sales in OK Furniture and OK Power Express increased 15,3% on the previous year. Overall the division reported a sales increase of 11,1% to R3,4 billion in an environment in which continuing price deflation averaged 5,1%. ..In the course of the reporting period 15 new stores – all OK Furniture outlets – were opened to bring the store count to 314 of which 248 trade under the OK Furniture banner. Negotiations for a further 24 stores have been finalised and all should start trading in the 2013 financial year.”

Workers know of the enormous packages paid to top executives. LRS report, the CEO Salary for 2012 was more than R 40 million up from less than R 10 million in the year 2007. The the average Director Salary was R 2.6 million in 2007 exploded to almost R9 million in 2012, yet the Company see a demand of R4000 basic salary as unacceptable.

The National Team on considering the Company response met on Thursday 29 November 2012 to consider a response to the company and decided the company give them no alternative but to embark on a national strike.

Workers Demand:

  • A basic salary of R 4 000-00 per month for sales advisors;
  • That the Company should stop forcing workers to sell Extended Guarantee;
  • The Company stop compelling workers to entice customers to buy on credit by insisting on 45% credit sales;
  • That commission should be granted to carpet estimators on fitting charges;
  • The scrapping of the unfair minimum performance standards;
  • That commission should be paid on all sold items.

In their report the Company claim it, ‘aims to foster good working relationships with organised labour structures and monitor and resolve employee issues before they lead to industrial action.’ Now is the time! This is the challenge! Give the workers what they want!

SACCAWU as much as 4 000 workers to join in this strike action across the country. Members will embark upon a three day protected limited-duration strike from the 6th to the 8th of December 2012.

Members will converge at Local Union offices at 09h00 on the 6th for a full briefing on details of the programme and conduct during the strike. All Union structures and members should support this strike.

Mike Abrahams 0823365363
Mduduzi Mbongwe 0823365146
Khulekani Ngubane 0823365448

Mike Abrahams