…management threatens mass lay off
“We see this Easter period as the right time to get management to listen to us and accede to our demands,”
Shoprite outlets across Nigeria have been shut down after its employees embarked on a strike.
According to News Agency of Nigeria, Shoprite workers at Ringroad branch in Ibadan closed the outlet on Friday.
It was also gathered that Shoprite Stores in Ikeja City Mall and Palms Shopping Mall in Lagos, and Delta Mall in Warri are also closed.
The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Shop and Distributive Employees (NUSDE), vowed that the company would remain shut until the management is ready to meet their demands.
The employees had on March 2 demanded that the South African management pay them off ahead of their planned exit from the country.
The chairman of the Shoprite chapter of NUSDE, Williams Peter, said the union was using the Easter period to press home its demands since dialogue had failed.
He said all Shoprite stores had been shut down nationwide because all negotiations between the union and the management ended in a deadlock.
“We see this Easter period as the right time to get management to listen to us and accede to our demands, ” NAN quoted Peter to have said.
“However, if the management is not ready to listen to us, it then means that Shoprite is not ready to open this April. We will shut the company down until they listen to us.
“Give us what we want and we will then be ready to discuss with the new investors and have a new agreement with them.”
However, a memo issued by Adeola Kagho, Shoprite’s divisional human resources manager, described the industrial action embarked upon by the workers as unlawful.
She threatened that the workers may face dismissal if the strike continues.
“Please note that your conduct is in breach of your contract of employment, company rules, and procedures, and the applicable federal legislation,” the memo read.
“The company is not prepared to tolerate your participation in any unlawful industrial action.
“The company is now considering appropriate action to be taken against you and this may include your summary dismissal, should you disregard the instruction/ultimatum hereunder.
“You are accordingly instructed to return to work immediately in an orderly and diligent manner.”
She urged the workers to follow the established company’s internal procedure, should they wish to raise any grievance.
Shoprite had in August 2020 announced its plans to sell its stake in the Nigerian chains.