Forty workers of Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) are exiting the company as a result of a redundancy exercise necessitated by company restructuring.
The restructuring was due to the acquisition of SABMiller, the owners of ABL by Anheuser Busch InBev (ABInBev), the world’s largest brewer.
These workers, who have served between one to 36 years, have been offered their relevant severance packages, and are expected to leave at the end of this month.
The severance exercise of ABL is in line with ABInBev’s strategy of cutting down labour cost.
Before their departure, ABL yesterday held a training session for the affected workers with the aim of helping them to resettle and use their severance packages efficiently. They were taken through pre-retirement training on various aspects of self-management, strategic application and implementation of their vision for their life after ABL.
Country People Lead of ABL, Antwiwaa Asante told ADR Daily that the redundancy exercise was to ensure that “the business becomes more aligned to the global ABInBev standards, making it more efficient.”
Although she lauded the contribution of the affected workers to the progress of the company, she said the restructuring exercise required the reduction in labour force.
“SABMiller has been acquired by Anheuser Busch InBev (ABInBev), and in adjusting to their way of doing things, we have to let people go,” she said.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, further cemented its position when it acquired rival SABMiller (which has its origins in South Africa) in October 2016 for over US$100bn. The deal has given ABInBev access to SABMiller’s extensive African footprint.
The company is currently rolling out four main plans for Africa, including targeting its global brands at South Africa by introducing more of its brands in that country; driving at-home consumption by rebranding products and packaging to increase consumption at home; increasing local production capacity in Nigeria to win a larger share of the most populous African nation; and cutting jobs and costs to reduce labour cost.
Last year Bloomberg reported that the ABInBev plans to cut 3% of its workforce in three years after its takeover of SABMiller – translating into about 5,500 positions globally. This forms part of the $1.4bn in annual savings that the company is seeking.
In December last year, the firm sent out a voluntary severance offer to more than 1,000 of its senior managers in South Africa. This was reportedly taken up by a higher-than-expected number of managers.