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E-Malt.com News article: 3362

South Africa, Johannesburg: A South African union threatened on September 28 to boycott SABMiller's flagship Castle Lager brand in its home market in a dispute over jobs, according to Reuters.

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) said it was considering calling a consumer boycott against Castle because the company had refused to reinstate workers as instructed by a court ruling pending an application for leave to appeal likely to be heard in November. Castle is SABMiller's top brand in South Africa, sponsoring the Premier Soccer League as well as national soccer and test cricket sides. SABMiller was formed when the South African Breweries bought U.S. number 2 brewer Miller.

SABMiller's South African arm SAB laid off 138 workers at a brewery in Cape Town in 2001, but a labour court has since ordered it to reinstate 61 workers.

FAWU issued a statement saying it would consider calling for a consumer boycott of Castle Lager if SAB did not reinstate the workers by Oct. 15.

However, SAB spokesman Michael Farr said that under South African law the company had to wait until appeal hearings before acting on the initial court ruling. "Once a particular party appeals a decision, that decision, in this case the workers' reinstatement, is then suspended until the appeal is heard. That's just a matter of the course of law," Farr told Reuters.

01 October, 2004

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