SOFT drink workers have called on South African Breweries' (SAB) beer division and other subsidiaries to join them in a sympathy strike after talks with management collapsed, a union official said yesterday.
Food and Allied Worker's Union (Fawu) general secretary Katishi Masemola said this would result in about 4500 additional workers joining the 3500 striking workers.
A total of 8000 workers would then be on a full-blown strike.
Since last Tuesday, workers countrywide have been on strike, threatening to dry up the country's stocks of Coca-Cola.
The workers wanted a 9,5percent salary increase, to work only on weekdays and a moratorium on the use of labour brokers.
Fawu met the management of Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI) - part of SAB - last week, hoping the employer would improve its offer of 7,8percent.
However, the parties failed to reach an agreement, prompting a full-blown strike.
Fawu wanted to get the support of workers at Coca-Cola bottling companies from across the world in waging protest action in support of ABI workers.
The union plans to serve ABI with a strike notice once it secures the support of other workers.
ABI's total workforce consists of 3 785 people, of which 2145 are union members.
Last week the company promised that the supply of its products would not be interrupted by the strike.
"This trading period is one of ABI's busiest and the week leading up to Christmas will see the most demand.
"However, ABI has a strong contingency plan in place to ensure the least amount of disruption," ABI said last week. - Sapa