JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Sept. 9, 2010)—South African union leaders are calling for the government to prosecute the directors and CEOs of South Africa's four tire makers for their alleged colluding and price-fixing.
In a statement, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, said, “We are firmly of the view that the Competitions Commission recommendation … to impose a fine is toothless and ineffective. This is informed by our concerns that any fine on the four companies, however the amount, does not hit those directly responsible for the price-fixing. The fine will come from the companies' coffers and could even be recouped by increasing prices, which makes the whole exercise a mockery.”
South Africa's four tire makers—Apollo Tyres South Africa (Pty.) Ltd., Goodyear South Africa (Pty.) Ltd., Continental Tyre South Africa (Pty.) Ltd. and Bridgestone South Africa (Pty.) Ltd.—were charged this week by the country's Competition Commission with collusive tendering, price fixing, information exchange and market allocation.
Each company faces a fine up to 10 percent of its annual sales if found guilty.
“We demand that individual company directors and their CEOs be dismissed and face prosecution for colluding and price-fixing,” NUMSA said. “This will send a strong message that our people's government will not tolerate corruption wherever it manifests itself.”
NUMSA represents several thousand tire workers in South Africa who have been on strike the past few weeks in a protracted labor dispute with their employers.