Woolworths employment proposition Woolworths employment proposition is good and highly competitive. Woolworths does not employ casuals. All employees are permanently employed and receive company benefits. Due to the longer trading hours in retail some employees work flexible hours but have guaranteed minimum hours of work every week. The majority of employees exceed the minimum working hours and are compensated accordingly. In addition to standard company benefits, Woolworths employees received the following perks in the last 12 months: • All employees qualify for significant discounts on clothing, homeware and food, considered very generous in the retail sector. • Woolworths BEE Employee Share Ownership Trust has about 12 000 beneficiaries (of a staff complement of approximately 18 000) who, together, received a dividend of R13.6 million. • The vast majority of employees received double digit increases this year. The strike is about organisation rights and not the conditions of employment The current dispute, however, is not about the conditions of employment but about organisational rights for the union. “I’m not sure why the union continues with the strike if they believe they have sufficient representation to grant them organisational rights. We have said consistently that we will talk to any union that demonstrates sufficient representation,” says Zyda Rylands, Chief operating officer, Support services at Woolworths. Less than 6% of employees, however, are participating in the picketing action. Proposed consumer action It is unfortunate that the union has decided on this course of action. Woolworths remains open to talk to the union and to agree a process to verify membership. “We trust that our customers will continue to support us in the way they have done for so many years. The strike has had little impact on Woolworths. All stores remain open and we continue to trade,” says Rylands. Ends