Walmart may have won the battle, but the war was just beginning, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said on Wednesday.
“We are saying to them the battle has just begun, we’ll take them toe to toe,” Dlamini said at the International Metalworkers’ Federation’s regional conference in Newtown.
“They claim to have won some legal battle in the boardroom, they will never defeat us in the street,” he said.
The Competition Tribunal recently approved the acquisition of South African retail giant Massmart, by the United States retail group Walmart — a move opposed by Cosatu.
Dlamini said Cosatu had a “duty” to protect South Africa and Africa from multi-nationals which it perceived as a threat to worker’s rights.
“South Africa continues to be the gateway into Africa, if there are those that want to exploit Africa, they always start here.
“If they succeed here, then it will be easy for them outside South Africa, in Africa.
“When we fight Walmart, we understand if we lose that battle, woe unto all of us in Africa.”
The company’s promise of job creation was a facade, he said.
While it created jobs in the company itself, it would destroy thousands more by side-stepping local suppliers.
“We will take as long as we can until they are defeated,” Dlamini said.
He said Cosatu would continue to “engage” Walmart and would remain vigilant. — Sapa