Around 600 Woolies workers face axe

2012-08-27 08:45

Johannesburg - About 600 Woolworths Holdings [JSE:WHL] workers face retrenchments or early retirement if they choose to not sign the new flexible-hour contracts, according to a report on Monday.

Human resource officers from Woolworths visited stores in KwaZulu-Natal last week to inform fixed-shift staff that in order to accommodate the company's 365-days-a-year trading policy staff would be switched to flexible shifts, the Star reported.

The newspaper reported that the company had 20 000 permanent employees countrywide for their 400 stores.

Chief operating officer Sam Ngumeni told the Star that affected workers had been given three options: to work flexible hours, leave with voluntary severance payment or for those over 50, take early retirement.

* Follow Fin24 on FacebookTwitter and Google+.


  • gkleingeld - 2012-08-27 09:03

    Woolworths will get the unwanted attention of government very soon.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-08-27 09:09

    Wish I could have worked flexi-hours instead of being retired with nothing much to do. Would have grabbed such an opportunity with both hands.

  • kuvha.tshilamatanda - 2012-08-27 09:09

    if they axe those workers we as woolies clients should axe our accounts with woolies, basically we should not buy from that store anymore!

      monica.smit.739 - 2012-08-27 15:04

      They HAVE A CHOICE.... they can work flexi hours. If they get "axed" it is by their OWN CHOICE. Read before you comment!

      martin.j.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-08-27 15:11

      The primary goal of any organisation is to maximize shareholder wealth. There is nothing wrong with what Woolworths is doing, unless it would be to the detriment of shareholders. If that is the case, then top management could, and should, be dismissed. Otherwise, they are doing exactly what they are mandated to to in terms of the law.

  • malcolm.dale - 2012-08-27 09:37

    Read the report carefully before you comment. They probably have the government's attention on hours of work over 365 days and in order to comply with regulations have to implement flexi-hours to comply!! You want 365 days shopping -you the public demand it - the government and labour have set the hours of work so face the music bravely now and stop whingeing!!!

  • John Peter Steyn - 2012-08-27 09:40

    All retail is the same. Six days a week, working until nine, ten at night, way more than 45 hours a week. No mercy! It is the worst sector of the economy to work in. At least Woolies held out until now before joining the others.

      martin.j.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-08-27 15:14

      Worse than mining?

  • Nathan - 2012-08-27 10:02

    the staff in this country DONT STOP MOANING!! spent 5 years working for a US owned company over seas.. no labour law, instant dismissal allowed, guess what, company made record profits every year, we were making great money and not one person was fired in the whole time I was there.. NO ONE was a slacker, EVERYBODY did what was expected of them ALL THE TIME.. think about it employees out there... Im a business owner, I would give anything to be able to kick the ass of a slack performer instantly.. our productivity levels would go through the roof if the country wasnt controlled by union slackers.. (thats why you join a union by the way... ) because you want to get away with being SLACK and doing the bare minimum,.good luck trevor with that great plan of yours.. LOL no chance china.. no chance... By the way... I WILL NOT employ anyone who belongs to a union....

      sudika.harkhu - 2012-08-27 14:06

      Nathan, I worked for R6 an hour at SPAR. Being a cashier, i couldn't slack off, because i was at the front end of the shop, customers were going to come whether i liked it or not. I worked there almost 4 yrs as a 'casual' without any increase. The money was desperately needed so i had to. I didn't belong to any union, and nobody else 'slacked' there at the shop. There are plenty of others with a similar story to tell, across this country who are working with no UIF, no benefits, no increases, no guarantees. They work very hard, harder some of the big fatcats at the top of corporates just to survive. Don't paint everyone with the same brush. - 2012-08-27 14:52

      unfair geralisation Nathan! most of those people work harder than u can imagine at crazy hours, under poor conditions and insanely low pay! without unions giving them some help, it might as well be called slavery!

      monica.smit.739 - 2012-08-27 15:08

      I agree with you, Nathan. There are plenty of unemployed people who are willing to WORK for a living, instead of DEMANDING everything they want!

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-27 10:09

    This does not seem to be a choice for 'Whoolies' staff, more of an ultimatum. Take it or leave it, or you are out, strange terms. Could have found a different solution maybe, one which might not have delivered fat bonuses for CEO's by hiring more staff to ease the work load on existing staff. Not conducive to massive profit margins, but large profit margins there would be all the same.

  • Fatso Clinton Seemela - 2012-08-27 10:38

    i think this should face the policy of the woolies workers.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-08-27 11:12

    And guess they are BEE. so no chance of us getting jobs even if there were any available. My son has been out of work for 2 years and why do you ask, because of the BEE and he is white. we live on my government pension and live in a garage.

      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-08-27 11:54

      Sorry about your situation. BEE has been a heartsore point for many people. Hope that government re-address BEE for the betterment of every one in SA.

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-08-27 11:48

    I'm sorry - but working on Christmas day too? Remember walking into a woolies last year and seeing how busy they were - but sad that woolies take this stance - sure great for the pockets - but staff morale?

      Neven.Subrayal - 2012-08-27 12:43

      Don't feel sorry for the staff. If people did not shop on Christmas day or any other holiday then stores would find it unprofitable and would not open on those days. Makes you wonder who the bad guys are (shoppers or stores)?

  • aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-27 12:53

    The headline is misleading. They have the choice of working more flexible hours. This is absolutely normal in a retail environment, why would you expect to work normal office hours if you work in a shop? So tired of the SA work ethic where workers somehow think that their employer owes them everything for life in return for just pitching up.

  • zizzy.sipondo - 2012-08-27 14:35

    So they're basically stuck between a rock and two hard places

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-05 08:42

    You tell me you have to work on Christmas day? Yeah right.. sign the contract to keep your job, then just call in sick, nothing they can do about it. Stuff you Woolworths, seems to be run by a bunch of racist dictators with regards to their employment offerings.

  • Albert Viljoen - 2015-06-10 05:07

    Nathan Jones you said it!

  • pages:
  • 1