NUMSA calls for consumer boycott of Coca-Cola

2009-12-29 12:38


THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has

called on consumers to boycott Coca-Cola for four hours a day in support of

soft-drink workers picketing in Pretoria today.

About 700 employees of Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI) staged

a protest at the company’s Pretoria plant today following collapsed talks with


The workers are affiliated to the Food and Allied Worker’s Union


Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese called on consumers to stop

buying ABI beverages between 1pm and 5pm every day so as to force the company to

meet the workers’ demands.

“The arrogance displayed by SA Breweries’ ABI management is

reflective of their intentions to perpetuate the old apartheid bantu income

inequalities in the midst of massive poverty,” Ngobese said in a


Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola said the strike was part of

increasing pressure on ABI to meet workers’ demands for a 9.5% wage increment, a

45-hour working week and overtime pay.

They also want a moratorium on the use of labour brokers.

Workers have been on a countrywide strike since last Tuesday,

threatening to run the country dry of Coca-Cola.

The union threatened to intensify its strike after it failed to

reach an agreement at a meeting last Thursday.

It called on workers from SAB’s beer division and other

subsidiaries to join them in a sympathy strike, which could increase the number

of protesters from 3?500 to 8?000.

ABI said it had received support from non-striking employees and

that only 938 of its workforce of 3?766 workers were on strike.

ABI has not changed its final offer of an 8.3% wage increase.

It said the strike would not run the country dry of Coke as the

majority of stock had already been moved into the trade and much of the

distribution was run through owner-run outlets.

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