Shoprite Or we could send a gunboat up the river
After the recent unpleasantness with the spurious shares and the expired food, things have hotted up once again for Shoprite in Zambia, where the Big Red One recently fired 3,000 striking workers, with the option of re-employment, (after two warnings, it must be said), and now the Zambian government is issuing less-than-veiled to throw them out altogether, on the ground that Shoprite may have been within their rights, and all that, but that isn’t how we do things around here. At issue, apparently, is the minimum wage that Shoprite and the National Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers (NUCIW) has thrashed out between them, and which the workers (and now apparently the government) consider insufficient given Shoprite’s status as the Biggest Show in town. At time of press, both parties were still rumbling, the workers were still kicking their heels and Shoprite’s 30 stores were still open.
Comment: A possible case of the tall business syndrome, where Shoprite represents everything that is multinational – the arrogance, the profits, the otherness. A tricky situation to negotiate.