It’s business as usual at Woolworths. There have been minimal disruptions and trading is normal. “A minority of our staff have been encouraged to protest for organisational rights,” said Zyda Rylands, Chief operating officer, Support services at Woolworths. Woolworths has been consistent in our approach to union representation. “We respect the right of our employees to belong to a union of their choice and have stated that, as guided by the Labour Relations Act, we will recognise any union that demonstrates sufficient representation of our employees,” says Rylands. Woolworths and the union entered into a settlement agreement in 2005 relating to a joint verification process which the union did not comply with. At the last verification process in November 2007 union representivity was confirmed at less than 15%. “We are proud of our people who are dedicated and committed to making the Woolies difference to our customers every day. We are concerned, however, as there have been reports of considerable intimidation of our people to support this stay away. It is also unfortunate that there are incidence of serious breaches of the picket rules agreed jointly at the CCMA,” says Rylands. The safety of our people and the public continues to be a priority.