The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has welcomed the intervention of the Competition Commission, and other stakeholders, during PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods.
In a statement on Monday, 16 March 2020, the Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomed the intervention of the Minister of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition during PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods. Together with the Competition Commission, the minister engaged PepsiCo to ensure that workers are protected during the transition, as they often face a reduction of wages, less benefits and large-scale job losses during these times.
However, the government’s intervention has seen PepsiCo making several commitments that benefit the workers. Amongst these commitments was agreeing to locate PepsiCo’s Sub-Saharan Africa Head Office in South Africa and increase the presence of Pioneer Foods throughout Africa and internationally. This will also drive PepsiCo’s commitment to increase the use of local agricultural produce, such as vegetable oils and packaging, in the production of Pioneer Foods and Simba products.
PepsiCo has also agreed to retain about 100 000 employees from Pioneer Foods and Simba over a period of five years. The company will also increase employment by 500 jobs and will further increase jobs in Pioneer Foods and Simba by 2 500 posts within five years. Finally, the company will invest R6.5 billion to maintain Pioneer Foods and Simba’s production over the next five years. Of this money, R5.5 billion will be invested, regardless of the macroeconomic climate, while the remaining R1 billion will depend on the planned growth strategy of the company.