Massmart reinstate retrenched employees


Employee action taken after competition ruling

Following the March 2012 merger between Wal-Mart and Massmart, the Competition Appeal Court (“CAC”) ordered, as one of the merger conditions, that Massmart re-employ 503 former staff members who were retrenched in 2009 and 2010 as a result of the then proposed merger.

However, it would now appear as though Massmart has failed to comply with the condition. Reportedly, former employees of Massmart have lodged a complaint with Competition Commission (“the Commission”) relating to concerns over Massmart’s non-compliance of this condition.

Following the complaint, the Commission conducted a series of meetings with the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (“SACCAWU”) and Massmart. The Commission concluded that Massmart had not complied with the condition imposed by the CAC and found that approximately 217 of the former employees had not been reinstated.

Following negotiations between the Commission, SACCAWU and Massmart, it was found that although Massmart had allegedly sent initial reinstatement offer letters out to former employees, many former employees, allegedly, did not receive the letter.

It was agreed that Massmart would re-employ 61 former employees, who had not received the letter, with 6 months back pay. In addition, Massmart would also re-employ at least 94 former employees, who had received the letter and had not responded to the letter, with 3 months back pay, if such employees accepted the offer by 30 September 2014.

Massmart is required to provide feedback relating to the progress of the implementation of the plan to the Commission over the coming months.

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