Namibia: Shoprite Workers Hopeful After Favourable Court Ruling

SHOPRITE workers say they are hopeful things will turn in their favour after the High Court on Friday ordered the giant retailer to stop hiring seasonal workers to perform the duties of aggrieved employees currently on a nationwide strike.

The court heard the matter after the striking Shoprite and Checkers employees' desperate efforts to be heard by their bosses amid continued low wages, unfair working conditions, and the retailer replacing them.

The company recruited 390 new employees to replace employees who have been striking since 27 December last year.

The Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) took the retailer to court after it violated industrial action rules by recruiting employees to do the work of those on strike.

A jubilant crowd of workers gathered outside the court on Friday, hoping their bosses would soon follow the court order and adhere to their pleas.

Nafau secretary general Jacob Penda said: "They will do the right thing from today [Friday] before Monday when we will get the court order that we will use to get access to Shoprite. The workers are happy and relieved of the worries they had."

Penda urged Namibians not to support Shoprite and Checkers in solidarity with the striking employees "who are demanding nothing more than fair and just salaries".

According to Shoprite worker Kasera Romanus, the future looks promising, as the court ordered the new recruits to leave the shop by today.

"We are still looking forward to the public and the new recruits to intervene and not buy from Shoprite and get them to respond because they seem tough at heart," said Romanus.

Another employee Hitjivirue Kazao says the court's response gave them hope. "We are still not sure what exactly to expect, but we are hoping for the best. We are also glad that they might close if they keep paying us peanuts," says Kazao.

The Namibian could not get a comment from the Shoprite management yesterday

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