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Unions get more time in Walmart case

Jan 21 2011 20:39 Reuters

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Johannesburg - South Africa's competition watchdog has given unions an additional 15 days to present more evidence against Walmart's $2.3bn bid for Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM].

Earlier this week, Cosatu, South Africa's largest labour federation, threatened the "mother of all boycotts" in opposition to the deal.

"We respect the Competition Tribunal's subsequent decision to grant a 15-day extension in order to accommodate the union," Massmart chief executive officer Grant Pattison said in a statement.

The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu), a Cosatu affiliate, has formed an "Anti-Walmart Coalition" that plans to ask South Africa's competition watchdog to block the deal or attach tough conditions.

The coalition wants to keep existing labour and supplier agreements, among other things.

Competition authorities are the last hurdle for the world's biggest retailer to take a controlling stake in the South African firm after shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of the deal on Monday.
massmart holdings  |  walmart
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