Clover took part in a CCMA-facilitated round of discussions with the Unions again in an effort to resolve industrial action which began in November last year. This follows intervention by the Consumer Goods Council of SA, who have voiced their dismay to the Minster of Labour at the level of violence from Union members during the months-long strike.
The company said that although the Unions on the weekend disavowed violence, their attempt to blame the gruesome murder of two security officials on the company’s management was an outrage.
Since the strike began, there have been nearly 200 acts of violence by striking union members. These include:
|Malicious damage to property||109|
|Attack of staff members’ residences||7|
|Invasion of retail premises||15|
The company said it was having weekly meetings with the SAPS on the progress on the murder investigation and violence. 16 suspects have been identified and four arrests have been made in respect of the murder of Terence Tegg. The Union membership of each has been identified. The murder case has been postponed to 2 March. There have been a further 30 striking workers identified in other related violence and intimidation. Internal disciplinary action is being taken against all these employees to have them dismissed from the company.
Said Steven Velthuysen, spokesman for Clover: “We met on Monday with the Unions, the Minister of Labour, the CCMA’s representatives and the Director General to try and resolve the dispute. Clover again moved on our offer, but we still could not reach agreement. A follow up meeting will be held this week and Unions will return to their members for a mandate. While we remain hopeful of a resolution, it must be said that despite every concession made by the company to date, the Unions have not moved on a single one. We hope the Union will actually start negotiating now instead of simply refusing to concede a single point, notwithstanding the fact that we have transparently provided compelling reasons for taking the decisions we did. All we have received from the Unions to date is deflection, violence, and a recalcitrance. It’s been very disappointing. Union leaders are on full salaries while they encourage their members to go on with no-work-no-pay.”