Community Development Group gives refreshments to Shoprite strikers

Sharlien Tjambari

A local unemployed youth group, Community Development Group, donated refreshments to the employees of Shoprite, U-Save and Checkers who have been on a strike for three weeks now, the handing over of refreshments took place at U-Save, Shoprite at Mondesa on Friday, 8 January.

According to the group’s spokesperson, Jenette Kauzuu, the employees are not only exposed to the harsh elements but also to hunger and thirst as they stand all day in their quest for better wages.
“These are our brothers and sisters, and we would like to show our support by providing them with refreshing drinks. It is through this small gesture that we want them to know that they are not alone in this fight and that there are members in the com-munity who are standing by them”, said Kauzuu.
The group’s aim is to harness and maximise the untapped potential of local unemployed youth through various projects aimed at providing a stream of income, improving living standards and restoring their dignity.
Kauzuu further said: “It is only when we join hands that we will be able to positively change the current economic landscape and paint the tomorrow that we want to see. We therefore urge the local youth to rise to the occasion and join the cause”. During the strike, Namib Times observed that there were only two employees inside Mondesa’s U-Save Shoprite. The other employees were picketing outside the shop pleading with community members not to buy from any Shoprite chain stores.
On 23 December 2020, Shoprite, U-Save and Checkers employees went on strike after they could not reach an agreement for better pay and benefits with their employer. Without reaching an amicable solution last year, the employees, through their union, the Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) approached the labour court on a basis for the court to interdict Shoprite from using fixed term employees to carry out duties of employees who are currently on a lawful and protected strike.
On Friday, 8 January, Judge Shafimana Ueitile ruled in favour of their union NAFAU in its application against Shoprite.
Ueitele ruled that no worker should be appointed in place of a striking employee.
Some employees said they have been working for more than five years on a temporary basis, earning a salary of N$250-N$400 per week without any benefits.

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