Chainstores say ABI strike impact is minimal

THE effect of the two-week long ABI strike has been minimal, leading supermarkets have said.

Pick n Pay, Shoprite and Checkers said yesterday their soft drinks stocks had not been affected since the strike by members of the the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) began on December 22.

Pick n Pay spokesperson Tamra Veley said: "We seem to be fine with our supply as ABI made very good contingency plans. ABI only distributes in Gauteng and North West, so we are not affected in other areas including the Western Cape."

Sarita van Wyk of Shoprite said their "beverage deliveries have not been affected at this stage".

ABI managing director John Ustas said the company had agreed with the union to meet next Wednesday in a meeting to be facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Fawu is demanding a 9,5percent wage increase for its members against ABI's offer of 8,3percent.

Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola said the union was preparing to challenge the decision by the Johannesburg Labour Court yesterday against Fawu's intended secondary strike action.

Fawu, whose members are accused of violence, saw 38 of its members being arrested on Monday in Midrand.