Planned AB InBev job cuts shock trade union

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANA

THE CONGRESS of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) yes­ter­day said it was alarmed and deeply con­cerned by the on­go­ing jobs losses in a num­ber of eco­nomic sec­tors.

This comes af­ter An­heuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, be­gan a vol­un­tary sev­er­ance pro­gramme to re­port­edly let go of more than 1 000 man­agers in its South African op­er­a­tions, fol­low­ing its $98.38 bil­lion (R1.33 tril­lion) takeover of SABMiller last year.

Com­mit­ments

Cosatu called on the govern­ment to do some­thing about unem­ploy­ment and put mea­sures in place to stem the tide of the on­go­ing re­trench­ments.

“We are trou­bled by the re­ports that AB InBev has of­fered vol­un­tary sev­er­ance pack­ages to some of its mid­dle man­agers, de­spite its com­mit­ments on post-merger em­ploy­ment,” Cosatu said.

“This fol­lows An­gloGold Ashanti’s an­nounce­ment that it plans to re­trench 849 work­ers in all its op­er­a­tions in South Africa; and the jobs car­nage cur­rently tak­ing place in the poul­try in­dus­try.”

Cosatu said it had been warn­ing that while in­vest­ment in South Africa through merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions had in­creased, these in­vest­ments had re­sulted in the loss of jobs over time in the ac­quired com­pa­nies.

“The AB InBev merger has re­sulted in re­trench­ments by a com­pany that has been solidly grow­ing and that has not un­der­taken any re­trench­ment ex­er­cise in decades,” Cosatu said. “While for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment is to be wel­comed, it has a neg­a­tive im­pact on the econ­omy, in par­tic­u­lar through repa­tri­a­tion of prof­its, such as the pay­ment of div­i­dends.”

Cosatu said the jobs cri­sis called for an ac­tivist govern­ment that would de­liver on the prom­ise of mak­ing sure that ev­ery cent spent by it cre­ates jobs, and that would also have a hands on ap­proach in the econ­omy.

“The govern­ment needs to find ways of dis­man­tling the legacy of con­cen­tra­tion and dom­i­na­tion of the South African econ­omy by a few firms, and that has left very lit­tle space for small firms to suc­ceed and cre­ate jobs for the 9 mil­lion un­em­ployed work­ers.

“Cosatu wants to see the govern­ment ad­dress­ing the is­sue of high ad­min­is­tered prices such as elec­tric­ity and trans­port costs and the non-avail­abil­ity of cheap fi­nance for small busi­nesses.”

‘While for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment is to be wel­comed, it has a neg­a­tive im­pact on the econ­omy’

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