Woolworths has been notified that the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union (Saccawu) intends to encourage Woolworths employees to embark on a protected national strike from 17 to 21 September 2008. The union demands organisational rights such as the right to organise its members and implement stop order facilities from Woolworths. Woolworths has been consistent in our approach to employee rights of freedom of association. An employee is free to join any union of their choice. Woolworths recognises the right of the union to organise its members if they demonstrate they are sufficiently representative. The vast majority of our employees (more than 85%), however, have not indicated a wish to belong to a union. “Woolworths is clear that we will recognise any union that demonstrates sufficient representivity,” said Zyda Rylands, Chief operating officer, Support services at Woolworths. At the union’s request, we have conducted several verification processes, the last of which was in November 2007. Woolworths also concluded an agreement with Saccawu at the CCMA in 2005 which agreed a joint verification process of membership that the union did not comply with. The current dispute with Saccawu is not about the Woolworths employment proposition. Woolworths employee salary increases are competitive in the retail sector this year. All employees have contracts with benefits which guarantee minimum hours of work every week. “Woolworths is taking every precaution to ensure the strike action causes minimal disruption to normal store operations, customers and employees. The priority is the safety of staff and customers. The union has assured Woolworths that the strike will be peaceful,” says Rylands. The effect of marches by Cosatu and employees of other retailers in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town has been minimal. All stores remained open. Comprehensive contingency plans are currently in place to ensure our customers are not inconvenienced by the strike. Woolworths met with Saccawu at their request but no agreement was reached. “It is unfortunate that the union has decided to embark on a strike. Woolworths will continue to negotiate with the union in good faith,” concluded Rylands. Ends For further details contact: Woolworths Press Office +27 21 407 7700 or 082 782 3856 pressoffice@woolworths.co.za Q & A for editors: 1.Does Woolworths employ casuals? Woolworths does not employ casuals. All Woolworths employees have full-time contracts with benefits. Woolworths is committed to being a responsible employer. Woolworths took the lead in South Africa in late 2002 when the company implemented a new flexible permanent employment contract. Employees are guaranteed minimum working hours, stipulated in the contract. 2.What are the picketing rules that Saccawu agreed to with Woolworths at the CCMA? •In a shopping centre or mall, the area prescribed for picketing shall be no less than 20 metres from the public entrances nearest to a Woolworths store. No more that 20 employees may picket in this area at any one time. •The employees participating in the strike may not intimidate members of the public, endanger safety or unduly disrupt normal business operations. They must comply with security and safety regulations. •Employees must not participate in provocative or derogatory conduct or display derogatory remarks on posters or placards. •Picketing will only take place during normal working hours. •Access to the prescribed picketing area shall be limited to employees in that store. •Striking employees may not wear masks or cover their faces. They shall not make use of sound instruments such as a trumpet, horns or vuvuzelas. •Placards may not be carried onto the company premises. •Saccawu must appoint picket marshals to monitor the picket. 3.Has Woolworths stopped the union from organising? Woolworths has not stopped the union from organising. Woolworths has been very consistent in its approach to employee rights of freedom of association. Employees are free to join a union of their choice. In terms of the Labour Relations Act, however, a union must demonstrate that it has sufficient representation before it can be recognised. Woolworths has no hesitation in granting the union organisational rights if they demonstrate sufficient representation. 4.Do you prevent freedom of association? No. Woolworths has been very consistent in its approach to employee rights of freedom of association. An employee may join any union of their choice. Should a union demonstrate sufficient membership, we will not hesitate to grant them appropriate recognition. 5.What will you concede as sufficient representation? Acceptable membership for representation is under negotiation with the union. Woolworths has no hesitation in granting the union organisational rights if they demonstrate sufficient representation in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

Woolworths has been notified that the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union (Saccawu) intends to encourage Woolworths employees to embark on a protected national strike from 17 to 21 September 2008.