Labour Court calls FAWU leaders to explain how it has halted violence in SAB strike

29 Oct 13

The Labour Court today issued an order that calls on the leadership of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) to appear before the court this week to explain what steps it has taken to halt the violence and criminality that has taken place during the strike currently under way at some of SAB’s operations.

Since the start of the strike, a total of 68 incidents of violence and intimidation have taken place. These have included burning employees cars, firebombing employees houses and malicious damage to property as well as anonymous intimidatory calls to working employees and their families.

SAB notes that in response to its latest Labour Court application, FAWU today put out a media statement condemning the criminal acts which have been undertaken by its members during the strike. The statement by FAWU comes after three applications to the Labour Court by SAB, and SAB hopes that FAWU’s belated statement will result in a reduction of criminal acts and violence.

SAB has made a final offer of a 7% average wage increase with performance related pay. This will increase the average monthly pay for shift workers by R1 196 to R18 283. SAB believes this offer is fair, being above inflation and highly competitive, comparing favourably with other sectors. The average remuneration across all sectors in SA being R4 773 and the average bargaining unit salary in the FMCG sector is R9 600.

The overwhelming majority of employees have accepted the offer and have continued working, with fewer than 27% of the bargaining unit currently on strike.

The offer was carefully considered and made to FAWU after months of negotiation in the hope of averting a strike. In view of this, and the campaign of violence waged during the strike, SAB currently has no meeting planned with FAWU. It hopes that FAWU will abide by the will of the majority of its members and call the strike off before its members lose even more pay.