Solidarity plans for three-week Sasol strike over share scheme

The union sent a strike notice to the energy and chemical company early last week, but did not at the time say when the strike would start. (Madelene Cronje/M&G)

The union sent a strike notice to the energy and chemical company early last week, but did not at the time say when the strike would start. (Madelene Cronje/M&G)

Trade union Solidarity said on Sunday it is planning for a three-week strike at Sasol over the exclusion of white employees from Sasol’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) share scheme known as Sasol Khanyisa phase 2.

READ MORE: Solidarity to strike over Sasol’s ‘white exclusion’

The union sent a strike notice to the energy and chemical company early last week, but did not at the time say when the strike would start.

Industrial action will start on Monday, but not all Solidarity members will down tools at the same time. “This will be a clever strike,” said the union’s CEO Dirk Hermann in a statement. “Our 6 300 members are highly trained employees of major strategic importance to Sasol. We intend to switch off a different section of Sasol each day by means of well-laid and strategic plans. We have the knowledge and influence to achieve that.”

In reply to a request for comment, a spokesperson for Sasol said on Sunday afternoon that it had received notification of the strike to start Monday.

“In this respect, we have activated contingency measures to minimise potential disruption to our operations. Sasol remains committed to open and honest engagement with all our trade union partners,” said Alex Anderson.

The energy and chemical company has argued that the Khanyisa share scheme does not form part of its employee remuneration or benefit structures, and was rather designed to address the ownership component of the B-BBEE code.

Hermann said the union had approached the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) for permission for its members to launch sympathy protests at “hundreds of employers in South Africa in solidarity with the Sasol employees”.

“Nedlac refused to give permission, therefore Solidarity intends to go to court next week to take Nedlac’s decision under review,” he said. — Fin24

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