Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Racism" at Pick'n'Pay

Cape workers too scared to speak out

  • Only 200 Pick n Pay staff march in Mother City

  • Racism is allegedly alive and well at supermarket giant Pick n Pay, although at least a third of the workers who participated in the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) protest march in Cape Town last week were reluctant to talk about it.

    Following a 90 percent turnout at its marches across the country on December 11, only 200 protesters turned up for the protest in Cape Town. Saccawu had expected more than 4 000 members to join in.

    Protesters varied in their opinions of the management practices at Pick n Pay, with many refusing to say anything about their cause.

    One employee from Pick n Pay in Constantia said she could not give her name as she had been "warned by management" not to say anything while at the march. "Both the management and the customers are the worst racists possible," she said.

    Pick n Pay said yesterday that it had received a memorandum from Saccawu relating to the union's dispute. "We have agreed with Saccawu to respond fully to their memorandum once all the protest marches have taken place," Pick n Pay said. "Now that all the protest marches have taken place around the country, we will be in a position to fully respond to Saccawu on all the issues raised and will be doing so."

    Some issues raised at the march in Cape Town included being "dictated to" and "having to do a blue file"[=undergo training].

    Ebrahiem Mohammed said he had worked for Pick n Pay for 12 years as a storeroom packer and had not experienced any racism against him.

    Nobelungu Hlakula worked as a till packer at Pinelands Pick n Pay for 15 years and said that even at interviews, employees were dictated to. "A job is about whether you can do it or not. At the interviews, the management expect you to speak perfect English as well."

    Claude Alexander said he had worked for the company for 28 years and was "waiting to start as a supervisor" at the Promenade Pick n Pay.

    According to Alexander, he had been trying for a number of months to speak with Wendy Ackerman, who was in charge of the group's bursary scheme, about applying for a bursary for his daughter - to no avail. He said he had always had to deal with "other staff who kept turning him away" regarding the bursaries.

    "I am here today because for 27 years I did not bother management, but when I started enquiring, doors closed in my face. (Chairman) Raymond Ackerman is not the problem. Everyone else who works for him is."

    Monwabisi Mbenya, a receiving manager at Gardens Pick n Pay, said he experienced racism first-hand. He noted that to qualify as a manager in any store, people of colour had to do "the blue file". According to Mbenya, the blue file is a managerial course. He noted that white employees were first appointed to leadership positions, after which they did the blue file at their leisure.

    Faldielah Kolbe is a baker at Pick n Pay in Tygervalley and has been with the company for 23 years. She said her (white) line managers earned twice her salary, despite her years of experience at the group.

    Pick n Pay said it would not be responding in the media to anything outside the memorandum, as these were individuals' views and issues and did not form part of the dispute.

    "It must be stated that Pick n Pay has a grievance procedure, which is a collective agreement with Saccawu that allows for any individual to have their issues addressed in a formal manner internally. Should the individual employee wish to pursue their issue, Pick n Pay will deal with this in terms of the agreed processes."

    6 Opinion(s):

    Anonymous said...

    Problem with South Africans are that they dont know where they fit in. Look at this guy who wants to speak to Wendy Ackerman with regards to his children bursary. Who the fuck does he think he is?

    Klaas is Bass en Baas is Klaas?

    Some day all this shit will boil over. PnP is only the first visible fallout - there will be more and it will only get worst. This is what liberals create when they make everyone beleieve that everyone is equal. Do we smell communism?

    Viking said...

    Ya, talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
    PnP must be one of SA's biggest employers - there's a recession on, but what the hell, let's go on strike over vague grievances.

    I mean, imagine having to undergo actual training to be a manager - or to have to speak English! I suppose it's an inevitable extension of public sector policies into the private sphere at the heart of this.

    PnP Constantia was my local supermarket, and although most of the customers were a***holes they were hardly "the worst racists ever", and even if they were, just go and work somewhere else.

    And spare no tears for Claude (who is presumeably coloured). He needs to understand that it IS racism - he is not BLACK enough to get a bursary.

    I also smell communism, Anon, particularly when a manager's salary is twice that of a baker - the inequality!

    Treacle Bender said...

    The nignogs like throwing the "dreaded" racist word just out there cause they know that the rasism "police" will respond with much more anti-white rage and contempt...

    What a cunch of useless bunts!

    Dachshund said...

    What a bunch of hypocrites. Never believe a liberal.

    Anonymous said...

    Pick & Pay is owned by Raymond Ackermann. A joo.

    Anonymous said...

    Anonymous 8:10 PM said...

    Pick & Pay is owned by Raymond Ackermann. A joo.
    Problem is, blacks don´t make a distinction between jews and a whites. To them, we are all one and the same. If only they knew.
    Anyway, that´s besides the point. I hope they go on the rampage and burn down Ackermann´s empire, something that would have many positive ramifications.
    Firstly, the nignogs would have no jobs (haw!!). Secondly, Ackermann would get what´s coming to him for supporting that disgusting Helen Suzman´s bunch of liberal scum in the 80´s and 90´s, and thirdly, it will hasten the demise of the rainbow nation, something I hope to live to see.
    Then finally, we can get on with the job of creating a white homeland in SA.