SABMiller Unit Agrees Deal to End South African StrikePaul Burkhardt
South African Breweries, a unit of the world’s second-biggest beer maker SABMiller Plc, said it reached an agreement with the Food and Allied Workers Union to raise wages 7 percent and end a strike that turned violent.
“We will now focus on welcoming those employees who went on strike back to work, ensuring that we fully normalize our operations,” SAB Managing Director Mauricio Leyva said in a statement.
About 750 workers were on strike, or less than 27 percent of the brewer’s union members, the seller of Grolsch and Peroni lagers said yesterday. They are scheduled to return to work over the coming days, spokeswoman Robyn Chalmers said in an e-mailed response to questions today.
The company said last week that some of its employees had their houses firebombed and cars burned by striking workers. The FAWU said it had told its members not to take part in any violence.
SAB’s 7 percent wage increase will boost the average pay of shift workers to 18,283 rand ($1,792) per month, the company said. Inflation was 6 percent in September. The FAWU had asked for a 9 percent rise.
The company and the union agreed that all salaries and wages for the bargaining unit employees will be backdated to July 1 2013, while the principle of “no work, no pay” will apply for the duration of the five-week stoppage.