The SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) wants competition authorities to revoke the 2012 merger between consumer goods company AVI and shoemaker Green Cross for alleged breach of job commitments.  Sactwu also wants AVI to be blacklisted from acquiring and “damaging” other non-fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers in future. Green Cross became a subsidiary of AVI when it bought the company in 2012 for R382.5m. AVI owns consumer brands such as Willards, Five Roses and frozen foods business I&J, as well as upmarket shoe retailer Spitz. Last month AVI shut down the Green Cross factory and retrenched 320 footwear workers.  Green Cross continues to operate but sells only imported footwear.

Sactwu said that job commitments made in 2012 were offered as guarantees for the merger and the decision to approve it was dependent on these.  The union believes that these commitments were not time-bound. The retrenched employees were each paid a severance package of ...

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