Business 1.8.2016 12:02 pm

Union sticks to its guns as fuel drying up

Suspect pours petrol over girlfriend.

Suspect pours petrol over girlfriend.

The union demands a 9% wage increase against the employers’ initial offer of 6.5%, which has since been raised to 7%.

The Chemical‚ Energy‚ Paper‚ Printing‚ Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) said on Monday it would not back down from its 9% wage increase demand as reports of fuel shortages in some areas trickled in.

The union’s head of collective bargaining, Clement Chitja, said fuel refineries were at a standstill since workers downed tools on Thursday.

“Not much is coming out of the refineries. We know that employers have resorted to independent contractors to get the fuel to filling stations, but some areas are still experiencing shortages. We will not back down from our demands yet. We await the employers to make their move today [Monday],” said Chitja.

The Cosatu-affiliated Ceppwawu’s 15 000 members at refineries and depots downed tools after negotiations with the National Petroleum Employers Association (NPEA) deadlocked last week.

The union demanded a 9% wage increase against the employers’ initial offer of 6.5%, which they have since raised to 7%.

The union also wanted a minimum wage of R8 000 per month plus a shift allowance to be extended to temporary workers. They also demanded a one-year wage agreement instead of the employers’ proposal of a two-year agreement.

Chitja said the employers had indicated that they would meet on Monday to evaluate the demands and then revert back to the union with feedback.

Some filling stations in parts of Pretoria such as GaRankuwa and Attridgeville and others in Johannesburg had reportedly run out of fuel over the weekend.

Fuel Retailers Association chief executive Reggie Sibiya said his organisation was awaiting reports from members by lunchtime on Monday.

“We have not received reports of any major problems from our members at this stage, the awaited report will inform us fully about the status of petrol stations.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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