Proposed Clover deal by pro-Israeli group rejected – FAWU

Union says govt must block this transaction as it will not meet ethical considerations of Palestinian question

FAWU Rejects Proposed Clover Deal By Pro-Israeli Group

13 February 2019  

The Food and Allied Workers’ Union( F.A.W.U.) supports pro-Palestinian groups in expressing  their outrage and rejection of the proposed buy-out deal of Clover Dairy by Brimstone, a South African BEE JSE –listed company and its involvement in the Israeli based Central Bottling Company (CBC) based on our organisation’s political beliefs as well as concerns over food sovereignty and job losses. It has been a long-standing principle of ours that anything to do with Apartheid Israel or associated companies must be rejected in line with isolating and boycotting this regime in support of Palestinian Statehood!

On the issue of food sovereignty, Fawu notes that Clover is the only locally owned producer out of the four major dairy companies in SA and it is our firm belief that it must remain in domestic ownership seeing that the other three major dairy producers Danone, Parmalat and Nestle are all foreign-owned.  Clover’s takeover therefore cannot be regarded as a greenfield (new) investment but is in fact the takeover of an existing asset and could thus not be counted in President Cyril Ramaphosa's investment (FDI) drive.

As with most, if not all mergers and/or acquisitions, Fawu is concerned over job losses as these transnational companies seem to believe in a cost-cutting business model which often includes outsourcing merchandising and other so-called “non-core” functions that will most likely lead to job losses and an increase in atypical forms of vulnerable/exploitative employment practices.

Even if Israel's Central Bottling Company-led consortium was to meet legal, competition and other regulatory requirements, we believe the South African government must block this transaction as it simply will not meet ethical considerations of the Palestinian question in any case. Furthermore, it will also not entrench local ownership of a major dairy company. Equally important, is the fact that more than 7 500 jobs cannot be guaranteed should a takeover be allowed!

Issued by Dominique Martin, FAWU media officer, 13 February 2019