Clover failed to have court declare strike unprotected, say unions

The Labour Court has ordered the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) and the Food and Allied Workers Union to clear social media messages that incites the removal of Clover products from shelves.

FILE: Clover approached the Labour Court for an interdict after calls to boycott its products spread nationwide. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Unions striking against Clover's proposed restructuring process say the dairy company failed to have the Labour Court declare its strike unprotected.

The Labour Court has ordered the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) and the Food and Allied Workers Union to clear social media messages that incites the removal of Clover products from shelves.

The unions have also been barred from intimidating non-striking workers and damaging company property.

Clover approached the Labour Court for an interdict after calls to boycott its products spread nationwide.

Labour unions, however, say this was another attempt to end the strike through legal means and intimidation.

Giwusa president Mametlwe Sebei said: “Clover went to court to get an order that would declare the strike unprotected. But they could not get any of those things.”

Sebei said the ruling comes as the company, unions and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition are expected to meet to try resolve the dispute.

Workers have been striking since November over wage cuts, retrenchments and factory closures, which they blame on Clover's merger with Milco.

But the company has pinned the restructuring process on poor economic growth and the COVID-19 pandemic.