AMALGAMATED Beverage Industries, the soft drinks division of South African Breweries, yesterday received a memorandum from the Food Allied Workers Union - which has members on strike at several ABI depots.
An estimated 600 union (Fawu) members demonstrating at the George Lee Park in Sandton handed the memorandum to ABI managing director John Ustas and SAB managing director Norman Adami.
After receiving the memorandum, Ustas said: "We believe that our offer is both very fair and reasonable, particularly in light of the economic environment in South Africa, where over a million people have lost jobs because of the recession.
"The soft drinks business has been affected by the recession along with the rest of the South African market, and ABI has not escaped the downturn," he said.
About 940 workers at ABI, which employs 3766 people, launched the strike on December 10, demanding a 9,5percent wage hike after rejecting the company's 8,3percent offer.
Despite high levels of violence and intimidation which have characterised the strike, there has been limited disruption to operations at ABI since the strike began last month.
The management team of ABI has put in place strong contingency plans to ensure the least amount of disruption to both businesses, with all manufacturing plants running well and deliveries taking place as normal.
It is estimated only about 45percent of unionised Fawu members are on strike.
Negotiations between the two parties will resume tomorrowand will be mediated by the CCMA. - I-Net Bridge and Reuters