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07.01.2015
Trade union Solidarity will tomorrow at noon start a public campaign against Woolworths if the group does not withdraw job advertisements for which only black candidates will be considered.
In a letter sent to Woolworths today, Solidarity demands that the group amend advertisements for positions which are only available to "African Blacks" or "to Africans, Coloureds and Indians only" so that people of all race groups will be considered for the positions. As per the Employment Equity Act of 1998, Woolworths is expected, like all SA companies with more than 50 employees, to plan our work force by race, gender and disability. 9.2 In addition hereto we request that all other positions that are currently advertised within Woolworths are screened to ensure and amended, if necessary, to ensure that candidates from all race groups are allowed to apply. Mercury2, is a Woolworths transformation program that will shape the future of retail, delivering world class convenience to the customer at unbeatable value.
At Woolworths, you are given every opportunity no matter what level you are at to become a future leader of the business.
Dirk Hermann, Solidarity's Deputy General Secretary, demanded in his letter to Woolworths that the group amend the advertisements before noon on Wednesday. Following a public outcry aimed at Woolworths' selection criteria for certain advertised positions, Woolworths made a media statement setting out its position with regards thereto.


For this reason, SOME positions (where there is under- representation) are designated for EE groups.
We have in our posession at least one advertisement for a vacant position in Woolworths, exclusively designated for African black candidates.
From the contents of this advertisement it is clear that White, Coloured and Indian applicants are barred from applying for this position as the same is already designated for an African black candidate. Woolworths' interpretation of the Employment Equity Act, as set out in the quoted section from its statement above, is both legally and morally wrong. Contrary to Woolworths' application of affirmative action, the Employment Equity Act, in section 15 (3) thereof, states that affirmative action measures include preferential treatment and numerical goals, but excludes quotas. The practice of Woolworths excluding candidates from certain races from applying for vacant position, is nothing else than quotas.
Besides what is stated in the preceding paragraph, we are of the opinion that Woolworths will also be found guilty in the court of public opinion on account of its recruitment and selection process as described above. In regard to this request we received written confirmation of Woolworths' actions in this regard by 12 pm on Wednesday, 5 September 2012.


We herewith place on record that, should Woolworths choose not to respond favourably to our requests mentioned above, Solidarity will launch a full scale campaign against Woolworths to mobilise public opinion and pressure in order to ensure that Woolworths adhere to these requests. There is always something new and exciting to learn either on the job or completing post graduate studies. The people and culture at Woolies is great and there is a certain buzz that keeps you coming back for more. Hermann informed Woolworths that the group is not correct in its implementation of the Employment Equity Act, and that its implementation amounts to unfair discrimination. The trade union has appealed to Woolworths to revisit its internal affirmative action policy to ensure that it does not discriminate unfairly against current or prospective employees of any race." According to Solidarity, the Act does not allow such discrimination, nor will public opinion tolerate such discrimination.



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