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1104 days ago
Furniture store owner Vic Warrington Gives His Employees a 50% Wage Increase.

By Sibongile Mafu

Vic Warrington is a businessman who decided to do things differently.

The father of two owns a furniture factory in Paarden-Eiland , Bench and Patio World, that employs nine people.

South Africa has been in the grip of violent wage strikes for the better part of this year and this action got Warrington thinking about the lives of his employees and the kind of wages they earn. It all started 3 months ago when he sat down with four of his carpenters to get a better understanding of how they live week by week.

His employees’ wages ranged from R640 to R850 a week, a figure that is supported by trade union and the Furniture Bargaining Council, who had earlier approved of a wage increase of 7.2%. Warrington could not understand how anyone could live on under R1000 a week, adding, “These are apartheid wages. My guys have families, dependents who rely on them to bring some money home. R640 is not good enough.”  He then took, what might call drastic action, foregoing the 7.2% wage increase proposed by the Furniture Bargaining Council, opting to increase his employees’ wages by a staggering 50%.

His employees moved from earning R850 to R1400, are now happier, more productive and are able to start paying off some of the debt they owe. Warrington describes himself as a sensitive man who could not stand by and do nothing.  “I’ve had to cut back on my own expenses and luxuries. We’ve also made cutbacks in the business, but we still make profit. It is manageable.”

Warrington has been harassed for the past two days for sharing what he has done, with many uncomfortable with the precedent he has set. His actions are truly in the spirit of Lead SA. Taking action and changing the status quo.

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