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BDS to engage striking Woolies workers

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Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa will be meeting Woolworths workers currently engaged in a protected labour strike since Monday. 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 retail 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,” said BDS spokesperson Kwara Kekana.

“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.”

Kekana said they called on workers of South Africa in all sectors to support these workers in their struggle to better their working conditions and “hold Woolworths responsible.” VOC

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