Solidarity strike to enter second day

The strike by trade union Solidarity’s members at petrochemicals group Sasol is set to enter a second day after a meeting held with the company did not lead to any resolution of the wage dispute and other issues, Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said on Tuesday.

More than 2 000 Solidarity members started a strike at 6am on Tuesday.

The union held a meeting with Sasol, but the meeting did not bear any fruit, Kleynhans added.

There was normal production and attendance at Sasol’s Secunda and Sasolburg operations on Tuesday, Sasol spokesperson Andre Botha said.

There was no significant progress as a result of the meeting between Sasol and Solidarity on Tuesday, he added.

The union raised a few matters, but Sasol maintained its current proposal, Botha said.

The strike centred on the wage talks, but there is also discontentment among Solidarity members about a number of issues, Kleynhans said.

Solidarity members are unhappy about the training of artisans at Sasol, communication with union members, the salaries that the company’s management was earning as well as other issues, he added.

The National Petroleum Employers’ Association, of which Sasol is a member, offered an increase of 6,5% in basic wages in the petroleum sector.

In addition, Sasol undertook to increase the housing allowance of identified categories of Sasol employees by 1,5%. Solidarity has demanded an increase of 10%.

Sasol’s offer had been “quite a good offer” and was above average, but Solidarity members had not accepted the offer, Kleynhans said.—I-Net Bridge

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