CityPress - - Business and Tenders -

The Food and Al­lied Work­ers Union (Fawu) this week fell short in achiev­ing its de­mands from the merg­ing megabrew­ers, but said its mem­bers could strike or ap­proach the courts to clinch a bet­ter deal.

Fawu had wanted SABMiller’s ex­ist­ing BEE scheme, called Zen­zele, to be wound up and re­placed by a new one, cre­ated as part of the AB InBev merger.

Fawu, which rep­re­sents 4 200 work­ers at SABMiller’s local op­er­a­tions, was also look­ing for AB InBev to pay each of the 9 146 work­ers in­cluded in SABMiller’s local work­ers’ trust about R165 000, as an ex gra­tia payment – to­talling R1.5 bil­lion for its ben­e­fi­cia­ries – as part of the deal.

The union said this pro­posed pay­out com­pared equally with the R1.2 bil­lion that SABMiller CEO Alan Clark stood to gain once the merger was com­pleted.

In the end, Fawu ac­cepted changes to the merger con­di­tions re­lated to the Zen­zele deal, but failed to win any of the ma­jor con­ces­sions it was seek­ing.

The union un­der­took to ne­go­ti­ate sep­a­rately with AB InBev re­gard­ing the Zen­zele scheme, which runs un­til 2020.

Fawu’s gen­eral sec­re­tary Katishi Masemola said there was still a chance that union mem­bers would strike at SABMiller’s local op­er­a­tions to get the Zen­zele con­ces­sions they were seek­ing.

“We will con­tinue to fight as our mem­bers are ag­i­tated,” he said.

He added that the union could also ap­proach the courts, given that SABMiller’s em­ploy­ees were not get­ting treated in the same fash­ion as its share­hold­ers were in their the merger con­di­tions with AB InBev.

“There was a lot of anx­i­ety among SABMiller work­ers about the change in own­er­ship,” Masemola said.

“We are now go­ing to be work­ing for a mon­ster we do not know.”

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