SAB joins growing list of companies planning to retrench, putting 500 jobs on the line
CAPE TOWN – South African Breweries, which was bought by Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev for $100 million in 2016, is looking to cut 500 jobs, a move it claimed was necessary in light of current economic conditions.
While confirming the intended job cuts the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) vowed to fight the retrenchments after meeting at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Wednesday for the first time as part of the 189 processes.
In a brief interview with Fawu deputy general secretary Mayoyo Mngomezulu, he told Business Report that the move to retrench by the brewer was motivated by its drive to maximise profits and not necessitated by anything else.
“The company is simply looking to please shareholders by declaring higher dividends and we will fight this through the CCMA as well as other processes,” said Mngomezulu. “Job security was part of the conditions put in place by the competition commission during the 2016 merger and now the group want to cut jobs.”
The company said the retrenchments were necessary, in light of current economic conditions and said they were in line with its merger conditions, according to media reports. The maker of Budweiser beer further said that the cuts would be limited to very specific workers.
SAB is one of several companies that have expressed intentions to cut jobs citing a tough economic environment in recent times.
South Africa’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in December and market commentators have warned that the situation would worsen.