Fuel strike: Unions, employers narrow the gap

Negotiations between fuel sector unions and employers have reached a point where they may resolve their dispute, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) said on Tuesday.

The unions and employers had confirmed that a revised offer had been tabled which closed the gap between them, said CCMA director Nerine Kahn.

The unions would report back to their members on Wednesday to obtain a mandate on the new offer, she said.

They would meet with the employers again at the CCMA on Thursday.

“The revised offer shall be not be made public until the parties meet on 28 July at 10am,” said Kahn.

She said the parties involved in the dispute were the National Petroleum Employers’ Association (NPEA), the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Worker’s Union (CEPPWAWU), the General Industries Workers’ Union of SA, the SA Chemical Workers’ Union and Solidarity.

Workers in the sector went on strike two weeks ago causing fuel shortages in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

On Tuesday, Fuel Retailers’ Association chief executive Reggie Sibiya said the situation had since improved, but there were still some petrol stations running out of fuel.

Ceppwawu has demanded a wage increase of 11% to 13% and a minimum wage of R6 000.

Solidarity, which suspended its participation in the strike last week, wanted a total ban on labour brokers and asked employers to address the issues of compassionate and maternity leave, the number of working hours and the shift allowance.

Employers were offering a 10% increase for workers at the lowest level, to raise their minimum wage from R4 000 to R4 400. Other levels were offered 8%. It is this offer which has been revised. – Sapa

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