CAPE TOWN – Protesters calling for a boycott of Clover products made their way to Pick n Pay Observatory and attempted to bring business to a halt.
Tensions were high and the situation nearly turned to blows on Wednesday in Pick n Pay Observatory when a group of protesters entered the store and filled their trolleys with Clover products.
Staff were then confronted with tills stacked with Clover products – from yoghurt to milk – under the pretence that the protesters were going to pay for the products.
One vocal protester wearing a “fight inequality” t-shirt repeatedly called for cashiers, saying “we want to pay, we want to pay here”.
At the same time, the protester was placing stickers across the tills, which were continuously being removed, which had the words “This festive season there will be no Christmas for Clover workers”.
Despite the claims, there was no intention to buy the Clover products.
Speaking to IOL on Wednesday, one of the managers at the branch Zolefa de Beers, said that the protesters’ plan was to block the tills from being used and ultimately bring business to a halt.
“Their whole main focus is to stop business, that’s why they had it at the tills so that no customer could come past,” she explained.
The small group of protesters eventually left peacefully, after staff pressed the store’s panic button alerting armed response as well as SAPS.
No damage occurred in the incident – to staff, protesters or property – barring a few Clover products.
Signs reading “Stop apartheid Israel national Clover,” with others wearing t-shirts expressing similar sentiments were seen in the store.
The Cape Argus reports the coordinator of the protest, Abeeda Adams, said the protest was not against Pick n Pay but Clover.
“Unfortunately, the store sells Clover,” she said.
Staff are under the impression the Observatory-based store was chosen only due to convenience.
Adams further called for the reinstatement of retrenched workers and scrapping a 20% salary cut.
Clover has been hit with a strike since November and a number of civil organisations are supporting the worker’s plight.
In 2019, South Africa’s Competition Tribunal approved the takeover of Clover by Milco SA – a consortium headed by Israeli beverage firm Central Bottling Company (CBC).
Media Review Network (MRN) recently pledged their support for the striking workers in order to gain justice for workers adversely affected by Milco’s takeover.