Lengthy Sasko strike may hit stocks

2011-07-16 00:00

ALTHOUGH stocks of staple foods are available at shops, Pioneer Foods’s Sasko Grain unit could not rule out the possibility that the company’s supply of staple products could be compromised in the “longer term”, should a strike affecting the unit continue for a lengthy period of time.

Over 500 employees belonging to the Food and Allied Workers’ Union are on strike at Pioneer Foods’s Sasko Grain unit.

Tertius Carstens, executive director of Sasko Grain unit, told Weekend Witness yesterday that operating activities at a number of production and distribution units — including Estcourt mill, Durban mill, Durban distribution centre and Crossbow (a unit in Durban) — have been suspended.

The unit produces Sasko wheat flour, White Star super maize meal, Spekko rice and Crossbow beans.

Carstens said alternative depots across the country are supplying bulk customers with products.

“There is still some stock in the system. Obviously, on a long-term basis, this would not be sustainable should the strike continue. Our mill in the Free State is also supplying wheat and flour to bulk customers in Durban.”

Carstens said there was no immediate threat to the production and supply of Sasko bread products.

Fawu is demanding a nine percent wage increase, as well as an alignment of minimum remuneration across Sasko Grain’s businesses. The company is offering a 7,5% increase for “all applicable employees within Sasko Grain”, and an alignment of minimum remuneration across operating units within the maize milling business.

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