A barman pours a beer produced by SABMiller at a bar in Cape Town. File picture: Mike Hutchings, Reuters

Johannesburg - Cosatu has vowed to fight the pending merger between SABMiller PLC, Gutsche Family Investments and Coca-Cola unless a guarantee is made that no jobs would be lost.

The federation said it was worried about the potential devastating impact the merger would have on jobs, small businesses and the economy at large.

In its letter requesting to make presentations to the Competition Tribunal which is handling the proposed transaction, Cosatu appealed with the entity and the Competition Commission to ensure that there was a binding contract protecting workers.

“The Competition Commission has already identified job losses as a big concern in its investigation. While we support its suggestion that conditions be put before any decision to approve the merger; we feel strongly that these proposed conditions are still inadequate,” said Cosatu spokesman, Sizwe Pamla in a statement.

SABMiller announced last year it had accepted a takeover bid by the world’s largest brewer takeover bid by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev).

If approved, the deal would be one of the largest mergers in corporate history.

Cosatu said given the 34% expanded unemployment rate in the country and the mass job losses witnessed in sectors such as mining and steel, it was critical for the competition authorities to protect workers when considering the merger.

“If ever there was a compelling case for the competition authorities to implement the employment provision in the Competition Act, it is this one. This is a case of three profitable operations that wish to become an even more profitable entity at the expense of job numbers in the country,” said Pamla.

Labour Bureau