Johannesburg - SABMiller Plc employees in South Africa are striking today over a wage dispute, the Food and Allied Workers Union said.
FAWU, as the union is known, and SABMiller, the world’s second-biggest brewer, failed to reach a solution during talks on September 27 after a strike notice, Moleko Phakedi, the union’s deputy general secretary, said today by phone.
“The strike will definitely proceed,” Phakedi said.
Tens of thousands of workers in Africa’s biggest economy have gone on strike during the last six weeks in disputes over pay as inflation cuts consumers’ purchasing power.
Disputes in the carmaking, gold and construction industries were settled after employers agreed to above-inflation salary increases.
South Africa’s annual inflation accelerated to 6.4 percent in August, according to Statistics South Africa.
SABMiller is offering employees a 5.5 percent increase, while FAWU is demanding a 9.5 percent increase, FAWU General Secretary Katishi Masemola said September 27.
SABMiller spokeswoman Robyn Chalmers was unable to comment when contacted by e-mail today.
“We have a full contingency plan in place to minimize disruptions to our operations and customers should there be any industrial action,” Chalmers said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday.
SABMiller employs about 5,600 workers in its South African beer division, of which about 1,900 are union members, Chalmers said. The beer company employees more than 70,000 people worldwide, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. - Bloomberg News