We’ll do what we can to stop SABMiller takeover - FAWU

Union says deal chases profits at the expense of jobs

Press Statement by FAWU regarding the possible merger of ABInbev and SABMiller or acquisition of the latter by the former

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) is disturbed by speculations doing the rounds that the South African born trans/multinational company, SABMiller, will either merge with ABInbev or be taken over by the latter, because of lack of certainty and clarity on where the process is.

Whatever the case, we, as FAWU and as part of the International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF), are certain that we will oppose this transaction using all available means and avenues. These range from participation in shareholders meeting via pension funds in the United States of America and Europe to participation in proceedings of anti-trust authorities and through collective bargaining and related platforms.

As FAWU, here in South Africa, we also believe that this ‘giant’ called SABMiller has its roots in South Africa and its success is based on sacrifices made by thousands of workers who built this company over decades and throughout the last century and must remain with some listing at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Having said that, and with anxiety rising up in the shop-floor across SAB operations in the country, we call on management to share meaningful information with FAWU in the same way that both the SABMiller and ABInbev should do with our IUF. The argument that this transaction will not lead to job losses, as SABMiller is largely in the developing world and North America and ABInbev is largely in the developed world and Europe, is rejected as dishonest because there would be rationalizations of operations.

It should be further noted that such a SABMiller/ABInbev merger speculation come on the heels of a consolidation of relations between SABMiller and The Coca Cola Company (TCCC) on the African continent through a single bottling company, Coca Cola Africa Beverages Ltd, which transaction may lead to job losses, both at white collar and blue collar levels, as overlaps and other duplications are eliminated and rationalization program is mounted.

Meanwhile, we call on shareholders of SABMiller; including the South African state employees’ pension fund investor, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC); to reject the offer by ABInbev as nothing but scavenging move that chases super-profits at the expense of jobs

Issued by Katishi Masemola, FAWU General Secretary, 13 October 2015