Union slams petrol price hike

July’s petrol price hike that comes into effect on Wednesday is unacceptable, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu) said on Monday.

“We are therefore calling upon the minister of energy to convene an urgent stakeholder’s meeting that will include government, labour and civil society to discuss this issue in detail,” the union said in a statement.

Ceppwawu added that the petrol price hike had come just after the announcement by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) that Eskom would receive a tariff increase of 31,3%.

The union was also concerned about the failure of the South African Reserve Bank to cut interest rates.

“As Ceppwawu, we remain perturbed because it is very clearly the workers and the poor who are going to be affected most.”

Ceppwawu added that it was currently “facing resistance” from employers in wage negotiations with regard to wage increases, shift allowances and maternity leave.

It said it was “disturbing” that the petrol price hike came at a time “when international oil prices are fairly low”.

“We believe that this petrol price hike is unjustifiable, given the current economic situation we find ourselves in.”

On Friday it was announced that the retail price of petrol would rise by 37 cents to 40 cents a litre — depending on the grade — on Wednesday. — Sapa

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