- The General Industries Workers’ Union of SA announced a strike at RCL Foods’ Sunbake operations in Polokwane starting on Monday.
- RCL Foods has already faced industrial action from the SA Industrial Commercial and Allied Workers’ Union at its Pieman’s operation.
- Giwusa’s demands at Sunbake include a R600 increase in wages across the board, and the scrapping of a sales commission in favour of overtime.
- For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.
After recently experiencing a strike at its Pieman’s operations in August amid double-digit wage demands, RCL Foods is now facing a fresh and indefinite strike at its baked goods business, Sunbake.
The General Industries Workers’ Union of SA (Giwusa) announced a strike at Sunbake’s operations in Polokwane starting on Monday.
Giwusa is demanding a R600 increase in wages across the board, scrapping of its sales commission in favour of overtime, and a medical aid scheme with 50% of contributions by the employer.
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Giwusa said in a statement that Sunbake employees work for an average wage of R4 700 before deductions, “yet they cannot afford to regularly buy the bread they bake”.
“A basic food basket costs R4 800, which is more than the Sunbake RCL workers’ wage before deductions,” the statement said.
The statement demanded that all jobs be graded with the country’s “high cost of living and chronic poverty” in mind.
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“The Sunbake workers support more than ten family members each on the poverty wage of R4 700 per month and are sliding further into poverty whilst the bosses are still making their profits and their families continue to live in luxury,” the statement said.
RCL Foods told News24 that the union’s demands, which include a cash increase, overtime and transport allowances, equate to an average employee cost increase of 19%.”In the context of food businesses facing extreme inflationary pressures, ongoing load shedding and rising cost of living impacting most South Africans, including our employees, RCL Foods remains committed to ongoing engagement with our employees to reach a wage deal that will strike a balance between their interests and our duty to supply affordable food to our consumers,” the company said.
The SA Industrial Commercial and Allied Workers’ Union (Saicwu) demanded the equivalent of a 36% average increase over three years at its Pieman’s operations. That wage dispute was settled in September with a two-year deal of 12% and 7% respectively.