Life gets even tougher for dismissed Shoprite workers

Shoprite branch in Pelican Park, Cape Town

The case against 7 Shoprite workers who were dismissed after they took tips from customers has been postponed for further investigation. The retail company not only lay criminal charges of theft against the workers but dismissed them as well.

Wynberg, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The case against 7 Shoprite workers who were dismissed after they took tips from customers has been postponed for further investigation. The retail company not only lay criminal charges of theft against the workers but dismissed them as well. All of them are women and were on contract. The workers allege that they were humiliated as they were made to walk to the back of the store in handcuffs.

The workers have since lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Speaking to Elitsha the dismissed workers shared stories of how life has become even tougher for them since most of them are single parents. Shameez Powell, a mother of 3, said that she feels trapped: “The case is dragging and I can’t look for work,” said the visibly emotional 27-year-old. “I have no other income and my stepfather cannot work because he is sick,” said Powell.

Another worker, Musa Kekana who is a breadwinner at home, said that she can’t afford to support her family anymore. “I can’t pay crèche fees for my child. My two brother who are still in school rely on me for transport to school,” said Kekana.

She received payment from the giant retail company about two weeks ago for her backpay and leave hours. “They paid me R2,900 and that was not enough considering that I have worked for them for a year and three months,” she explained.

As cashiers, Powell and Kekana were earning R2,400 a month while Shoprite CEO, Whitey Basson, earned over R100-million in bonuses last year. In a statement sent to Elitsha, Shoprite said that “in line with global retail practice, Shoprite cashiers are not allowed to receive tips”.

Also read:  Shoprite workers on strike for better working conditions

The retail company was recently found guilty of reckless lending by the National Consumer Tribunal and were fined R1-million.

The workers told Elitsha that their proposals to Shoprite were turned down. They wanted to be reinstated and their names cleared but the company turned the proposal down.

The case has been postponed til 20 October for further investigation.

 

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