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SG Convenience Workers Launch Nationwide Strike Over Wages and Working Conditions

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Truck drivers and general workers at SG Convenience, a distribution company, commenced strike action on Monday.

Approximately 700 workers in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng downed tools, demanding better wages and working conditions.

The strike is organized by the Dynamic People’s Union of South Africa (DYPUSA), an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

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According to Mashudu Raphetha, the general secretary of DYPUSA, the primary grievances include below-minimum wages, insufficient allowances, and inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers.

“Our members are subjected to guarding the trucks, sleeping in dangerous areas, and performing their duties without proper PPE and danger allowances,” Raphetha stated.

Read | Timelink Cargo Fires 45 Truck Drivers Amidst Unprotected Strike

“We are seeking a living wage and fair treatment for our members.”

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SG Convenience plays a crucial role in the supply chain, delivering goods to small retail stores, hotels, and fuel stations across South Africa.

The strike is expected to disrupt deliveries significantly, affecting convenience stores, the hospitality industry, and notable locations such as the Kruger National Park.

The strike began at 5 AM on Monday and is set to impact operations in Nelspruit, Durban, and Elandsfontein.

With approximately 300 trucks now standing idle, the strike is poised to halt production and distribution, causing widespread logistical challenges.

“This company delivers pies, sweets, chocolates, and groceries within the republic, especially to fuel stations like Engen and Sasol, and snacks to hotels such as Sun Hotels,” Raphetha explained.

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“The disruption will be felt across various sectors.”

DYPUSA represents over 60% of SG Convenience’s workforce, amplifying the strike’s potential impact.

The union has submitted their wage demands to the company, emphasizing the need for rates that meet or exceed the minimum wage, along with proper allowances for subsistence and safety.

As the strike unfolds, stakeholders in the retail and hospitality sectors are bracing for delays and potential shortages.

The union and SG Convenience are yet to reach a resolution, leaving the duration of the strike uncertain.

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