Johannesburg - SA Breweries urged the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) on Thursday to end its month-long strike as violence was continuing to take place.
The latest occurred on Wednesday night, SAB said in a statement.
“Since the start of the strike there have been more than 72 incidents of violence and intimidation.”
The violence ranged from burning employee's cars, firebombing employee's houses, to intimidating workers and their families with anonymous calls.
Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola was not available for comment on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Masemola said a decision was to be taken on Wednesday as to whether the strike should be stepped up. He urged Fawu members to stop attacking and intimidating non-strikers.
“(We) urge those of our members involved in violence or intimidation to desist from doing so and to maintain peaceful strike action if a decision to further maintain the strike action is made,” said Masemola.
SAB managing director Mauricio Leyva said only a minority of Fawu members supported the strike since it began on September 30.
“Fewer than 27 percent of the bargaining unit members are on strike and it has become violent precisely because only a minority of workers in a couple of sites in Gauteng are supporting it,” he said.
“The majority of our employees have spoken, but Fawu is only listening to the minority out on strike. We call on Fawu leadership to halt the strike and respect the will of their members.”
Leyva on Thursday visited the family of a Fawu shop steward in Vosloorus whose house was firebombed. He had continued to work at SAB's Alrode brewery during the strike. His wife and 11-year-old son were in the house at the time, and were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
“We have further heightened security to protect our employees, their family and their property,” said Leyva.
“We respect the right of people to strike and ask Fawu members to respect the right of people to continue working.”
On Monday, SAB turned to the Labour Court for an order in an attempt to end the violence.
“The Labour Court... issued an order that calls on the leadership of the Fawu to appear before the court to explain what steps it has taken to halt the violence,” SAB spokeswoman Robyn Chalmers said in a statement on Monday.
Workers wanted a nine percent salary increase across the board and equal participation in the board of trustees of the provident fund.
SAB has offered a seven percent average wage increase with performance-related pay. - Sapa