Seven years’ backpay for 61 reinstated Pick n Pay staff

TimesLive reports that sixty-one Pick n Pay staff have been reinstated by the Labour Appeal Court after being fired for going on strike for an hour in 2010. Acting Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane ordered the retailer to pay the 61 retrospectively to the date of their dismissal.  Costs were awarded in their favour.  However‚ the fight may not be over, as the company is studying the judgment before deciding on its next move.  The 61 members of the SA Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) downed tools at 3pm‚ an hour before the store closed on Heritage Day in the midst of a wage dispute.

But, they did not know the strike had been delayed by four hours as the shop stewards’ phone at their store was out of order.  The appeal judge criticised Pick n Pay for failing to give the workers a written ultimatum to warn them of the consequences of striking at 3pm‚ failing to allow them to submit representations before firing them‚ inconsistency in the way it treated striking workers and making an “absurd” argument that the trust relationship with the staff had broken down.

by Dave Chambers