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Dis-Chem staff protest at Mall

A group of protesters caused disruption at Paarl Mall this week when they staged a protest outside the Dis-Chem pharmacy in an attempt to persuade the company to increase their salaries.

About 50 demonstrators sang and danced in front of Dis-Chem inside the mall on Tuesday morning 4 December forcing the store to close its security gate as well as an adjacent shop in the mall.

The protestors are demanding a minimum wage of R12 500 a month and an annual increase of 12,5% (which must be guaranteed for the next three years) for those earning above that amount and a guaranteed annual bonus.

Upon inquiry, the company’s head of human resources, Caryn Barker, told Paarl Post that Dis-Chem remains clear in its stance that the increases are unreasonable in the current economic climate.

In a statement released on 20 November the company said the “national strike continues amid sporadic incidents of violence, intimidation and damage to property around the country”. It said Dis-Chem asked the union, the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW), to control its members and the company pointed out the union has failed to adhere to picketing rules as defined by the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

“A mediation meeting was called by the CCMA on Monday 26 November, but the parties did not reach clarity on a way forward,” it stated.

“We apologise to our customers and fellow traders for the inconvenience they experienced,” said Barker.

When asked whom the Paarl Post can speak to with regards to the protest to enquire about the safety measures put in place for shoppers, marketing manager of Paarl Mall, Sandra Nothnagel, said: “It is a Dis-Chem protest which happened in front of Dis-Chem, I suggest you phone Dis-Chem.”

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