Foods and beverages group Clover Industries has engaged with General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa and offered a 5% increase in wages, commencing from 1 July this year. But this was rejected by the workers who embarked on a strike on Tuesday.
According to reports, around 2 000 Clover workers are on strike, with the union demanding a 16% wage increase.
In a press statement, Clover said contingency measures have been put in place to limit the impact of the industrial action on company operations and it looks forward to a peaceful and timeous resolution to this matter.
Clover said its business has been subject to a difficult trading cycle for a number of years, with costs generally rising above inflation. Consumer spending has also been negatively affected by poor economic growth and the increase in unemploym6ent.
The impact of Covid-19 has added to this pressure and created much uncertainty, specifically around the economic outlook. While Clover’s operations were declared essential services and the company continued to operate through the lockdown, the company said additional expenses incurred to protect employees and other stakeholders came at a significant cost.
Clover’s financial position has also been affected by costs related to inefficiencies caused by changes in demand and supply patterns. “All wage discussions are considered in context of the business’ financial position and long-term sustainability which is to the benefit of all stakeholders,” the statement said.