PRESS STATEMENT: BDS SA to meet with Woolworths workers currently on strike
16 October 2015
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa will be meeting Woolworths workers currently engaged in a protected labour strike since Monday, 12 October 2015.
Over 700 workers at the Woolworths Johannesburg Distribution Centre are currently engaged in a legal labour strike since Monday. According to union representatives, various operations at the Woolworths distribution centre have been affected impacting several Woolworths stores in the Gatueng area.
Woolworths workers are on strike demanding fair pay, affordable medical aid, education allowances, housing allowances as well as better working conditions. Union leaders have informed BDS SA that Woolworths workers are currently earning at least 200% less than what workers at comparable retailers/companies are earning (workers at Woolworths Distribution Centre currently earn approximately R2800 - R3600).
The leadership of BDS South Africa will be meeting with the workers and union leadership later today to explore ways of supporting the workers in their legal labour strike.
Woolworths claims that it is a responsible company yet it is exploiting workers. Woolworths claims that it sources ethically yet it trades with Apartheid Israel. Woolworths must align its so-called commitments to workers, sourcing, the environment, education etc. to actual policy and practice.
Woolworths must move beyond PR exercises and empty words. Until then we will #BoycottWoolworths, support the #WoolworthsStrike and use all measures available to bring about better conditions in the company for workers but also bring about change to Woolworths shameful Israeli trade. Both these actions - treating workers fairly and ending trade with Apartheid Israel - can genuinely put Woolworths, if it is really interested, on a good business journey.
We call on workers of South Africa in all sectors to support these workers in their struggle to better their working conditions and hold Woolworths responsible. An injury to one is an injury to all!
ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL IN SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
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BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446