The South African Breweries (SAB) has been granted a national interdict by the Labour Court following further intimidation and unlawful conduct by striking workers, this time outside the company’s Customer Interaction Centre (CIC) in Johannesburg.
The national interdict orders Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) to instruct its members who are on strike to refrain from committing acts of violence. It also requires FAWU and its members to comply with picketing rules. The scope of the interdict covers all SAB’s premises as well as those of soft drinks division ABI and the broader SABMiller.
The national interdict comes after the Labour Court last week issued an interdict specific to SAB’s Chamdor brewery and depot, west of Johannesburg, following incidents of violence outside the brewery and depot.
Yesterday, an illegal march took place to the CIC with striking workers carrying weapons such as knobkerries and pickaxes, disrupting traffic, drinking alcohol in public and intimidating CIC employees.
SAB Human Resources Director, Yokesh Maharaj said that ahead of the strike, FAWU officials had agreed to the picketing rules, which allow striking workers to picket outside of SAB operations providing this is done peacefully.
“We are deeply concerned by the acts of violence and intimidation which have taken place outside CIC and previously 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.
The strike under way at SAB is a minority strike with fewer than 30% of the bargaining unit engaged in strike action. The company is concerned about possible intimidation of the majority of employees who have continued to work.
The company remains committed to continue regularly engaging with FAWU officials, as there are no winners with a strike which is painful for employees, the organisation, the union as well as for the strikers. However, the company cannot tolerate the threat of violence or any illegal activities surrounding the strike.
After three months of intense negotiation and in order to avoid a strike, SAB moved from its offer of 5.5% and tabled a carefully considered offer of 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.
Facts and Figures
- SAB’s offer is average 7% with performance related pay (PRP)
- Average monthly pay for shift workers will increase by R1 196 to R18 283
- A total 90% of eligible bargaining unit employees will get 7% increase or more, with only 217 people getting less than 7%
- SAB is one of the highest paying employers in SA
- Average remuneration in SA: R4 773
- Average bargaining unit salary in FMCG sector: R9 600
- Approximate headcount:
- Beer division: 6 400 people
- Bargaining unit: 2 800 people
- FAWU members: 1 870 people
- Fewer than 30% of the bargaining unit is on strike
View the Court Order here: