Midrand, 29 November 2018 – The national strike at Dis-Chem continues amid sporadic incidents of violence, intimidation, and damage to property around the country.
Despite several calls by Dis-Chem for NUPSAW to control its members, the union has failed to adhere to picketing rules as defined by the Council for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA). A mediation meeting was called by the CCMA on Monday 26 November, but the parties did not reach clarity on a way forward.
“We’ve seen an escalation in violent behavior, particularly in Cape Town. As a result, we have had to go back to the CCMA to ask for some of the picketing areas to be suspended,” said Dis-Chem spokesperson Caryn Barker.
“This is an unpopular strike. Less than 500 of our 17 200 employees are involved, yet those who continue to work have been physically threatened, and unfortunately, others have been injured, with at least one employee attacked in their own home. These are the very people that NUPSAW claims to represent,” said Barker.
NUPSAW’s current representation at Dis-Chem is less than 13%.
Dis-Chem employees traveling from work on Wednesday 21 November narrowly escaped serious injury or worse when security teams successfully stopped the ambush of a vehicle transporting them from the company’s Midrand Distribution Centre (DC).
Security personnel noticed suspicious activity taking place in the vicinity of the DC and on further investigation, four professionally made petrol bombs were recovered. A Dis-Chem employee who is also a NUPSAW member was arrested, and a charge of attempted murder was laid. Three other suspects remain at large.
Evidence that union officials planned to use violence right from the start has been handed over to the Labour Court.