- The South African Industrial, Commercial and Allied Workers Union went on strike at Pieman’s on Thursday.
- The union claims pie maker RCL Foods has shown no interest in negotiating a 30 rand hourly wage.
- RCL Foods said the union’s demands equate to an average increase of 36% over three years.
- Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday, or go to Fin24 front page.
Workers at Pieman’s RCL Foods brand announced on Thursday that they are going on strike against their current wages.
The South African Industrial, Commercial and Allied Workers Union (Saicwu) announced the speech on Wednesday. Saicwu is an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).
READ | Rainbow Chicken says it will “take weeks” to meet customer demands following the KZN floods
Saicwu president Simon Munyai said workers are maintaining high productivity at Pieman’s, with more than 500,000 pies baked daily, but claims the employer is not interested in negotiating a pay rise for workers, despite workers revising their demands towards downgrading.
“Saicwu announced the dispute after the employer demonstrated that they are unwilling to negotiate a wage that is 30 rand an hour from the actual demand of 50 rand per hour in addition to the current rate, benefits and working conditions of workers in good faith,”, Munyai said.
Munyai said Saicwu intends to strike until an agreement is reached with the employer. Munyai told Fin24 that more than 500 unionized workers are already demonstrating.
RCL Foods told Fin24 that it has been in several negotiations with Saicwu and discussions at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, but no agreement has been reached on the annual wage increase.
“Current union demand equates to an average growth of 36% over three years. In the context of food businesses facing extreme inflationary pressures and the rising cost of living affecting the majority of South Africans, including our employees, RCL Foods remains committed to ongoing engagement with our employees. reach a wage agreement that balances the interests of all our stakeholders, including consumers and employees,” the company said.
During its “national stoppage” program yesterday, Saftu tabled a demand in parliament to raise the country’s minimum wage to 75 rand an hour. The current minimum wage in the country is 23 rand per hour.