SAB Granted Labour Court Interdict Against Strike Action: Part 1

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The South African Breweries (SAB) has been granted an interdict by the Labour Court which states striking workers must halt any violent activities and abide by the picketing rules.

This comes after members of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), currently on strike at some SAB operations, yesterday behaved violently outside SAB’s Chamdor brewery and depot in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

Striking workers burned tyres and reportedly threw stones at the depot and passing cars. Stones were also used to block the road outside of the depot and brewery.

SAB Human Resources Director, Yokesh Maharaj, said that ahead of the strike, FAWU officials had agreed to the picketing rules, which allows striking workers to picket outside of SAB operations providing it is done in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner.

“We are deeply concerned by the acts of violence and intimidation which took place at our Chamdor operations. We strongly urge FAWU officials to ensure that their members abide by our picketing rules, and also by the rule of the law, ” he said.

There are still only a small minority of employees on strike and SAB is concerned that this limited support for the strike will encourage further acts of violence and intimidation by the union to get other employees to join them.

SAB remains committed to resolving the wage dispute in the most amicable manner possible and without delay. SAB has written to FAWU with its final offer but is yet to receive a response from the union.

SAB has offered workers a 7% average wage increase which will increase the average monthly pay for shift workers by R1 196 to R18 283. The average remuneration across all sectors is R4 773 and the average bargaining unit salary in the FMCG sector is R9 600.

Maharaj said SAB believes that the wage increase is highly competitive – it is above inflation and comes off a high base. “SAB is one of the highest paying employers in South Africa across all sectors, and one of the highest in the brewing industry worldwide, ” he said.

While a strike is always challenging for any business, we are well prepared. We have a contingency plan in place to minimise the impact of the strike and ensure there is no shortage of beer. SAB also has security measures in place to protect those people who wish to work.

FACTS AND FIGURES

SAB’s offer is 7% + Performance Related Pay.
Average monthly pay for a shift worker will increase by R1 196 to R18 283
SAB is one of the highest paying employers in SA

  • Average remuneration across all sectors: R4 773
  • Average bargaining unit salary in FMCG sector: R9 600

Approximate headcount:

  • Beer Division:      6400 people
  • Bargaining unit:   2800 people
  • FAWU members:  1870 people

About 30% of bargaining unit employees are on strike or 850 people

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