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Shoprite, workers reach agreement… employees get increases but still no benefits

2021-01-25  Maria Amakali

Shoprite, workers reach agreement… employees get increases but still no benefits
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The strike is over and although Shoprite, Checkers and Usave workers are scheduled to receive an increase, which will be back-paid at the end of February, their demands for additional benefits such as housing and transport allowance as well as medical aid have still not been met. 
The strike was officially called off on Saturday after the representative union, the Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau), and the employer reached an agreement on salary.

“Back pay for the period 1 July 2020 to 31 July 2021 will be paid in an off-cycle during the month of February 2021 to all employees who are in the employ of the company at the date of signing this agreement,” the agreement reads.
In addition to the back pay, for 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, Shoprite agreed to give a monthly salary increment of N$250 to full-time permanent employees, meaning no permanent employee will receive a monthly salary of less than N$2 500.

Furthermore, permanent part-time employees will receive a wage increase of N$1.28 per hour, which means no permanent part-time employee will receive an hourly wage of less than N$12.82 per hour.

Meanwhile, for 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, Shoprite has agreed to give another monthly increase of N$250 to full-time permanent employees, whilst permanent part-time employees will receive a wage increase of N$1.28 per hour. 

Shoprite also agreed to pay a N$12 late shift allowance to workers who clock out after 20h00 in the evening while part-time employees earning N$9.71 per hour and above will receive a one-off payment of N$1 000 at the end of January.

Shoprite and its workers have been at loggerheads since the end of last year after the company refused to budge on its position that it will only offer the workers an increment of between 5% and 10%, without any added benefits. Workers on the other hand were demanding a salary increment of N$600, a housing allowance of N$450 and a transport allowance of N$500. 

Full-time Shoprite workers earned between N$1 200 and N$1 600 on a five-day work basis. Permanent workers were paid between N$2 000 and N$3 000 per month, which they claimed was substantially less than the N$6 759 and N$4 169 monthly salaries paid to other retail and wholesale trade employees.   

Still, Shoprite, Checkers and Usave employees do not receive transport allowances nor is transport provided by the company.  They also do not receive any benefits such as housing allowance or medical aid. These were but some of the factors that led to more than 2 000 workers embarking on a debilitating nationwide strike on 23 December 2020. 
– mamakali@nepc.com.na


 


2021-01-25  Maria Amakali

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