The Shoprite Group of retailers’ companies are currently under siege in Namibia as workers are on strike demanding better working conditions and higher pay.
The strike has been going for close to four weeks now. And while the workers started out with good spirits of a peaceful strike, it’s clearly visible now that the workers’ patience is running out.
Most of the workers on strike have been spending money from their own pockets every day for the past three and half weeks by taking public transport to go to the strike and they have to eat lunch from their own pockets. At the end of the day they have to spend more money to go back home where they have to spend money to have something to eat before going to bed.
Some of these people have children and households to take care of everyday, all while they are not earning anything during this period of their strike.
This is why one can expect them to start losing their temper and start clashing with the police. The workers will start now taking drastic actions of blocking the doors of Shoprite, drag away the trolleys or do anything which may bring more discomfort and inconvenience for their employer.
And by so doing they will be clashing with the police whose job is to maintain law and order.
But then through such kind of clashes one may only expect blood to flow, as it has already happened with one of the striking workers who was said to have been shot in the head by the police at Oshakati last week.
The longer the strike go on the more blood one may expect to flow. And all this is the fault of Shoprite.
Shoprite is a shop that sells food and other useful stuff to our communities. Even as we are boycotting the shop currently during this strike period, after it is all over we will come back and start again buying from Shoprite.
Not because we love Shoprite but because we can find most goods at the lowest prices only at Shoprite.
But then it won’t be good for us to go back and buy our food from a shop which has shed the blood of our people. Shoprite must just give up now and agree to the demands of the workers. Shedding blood over salaries is not something that we may expect from Shoprite.