NEGOTIATIONS RESUME TO RESOLVE STRIKE BY SOUTH AFRICAN PETROL STATION WORKERS

Employers in the petroleum industry have finally agreed to resume negotiations with the striking Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) as the strike by 15,000 union members working at fuel refineries and petrol stations continues into a second week.

The CEPPWAWU is demanding a 9.0 per cent wage increase and employers are offering 7.0 per cent. As the fuel strike reached day eight Thursday, the fuel depot of South African oil and gas company, Engen, at Langlaagte in Johannesburg has become a hive of activity.

Private contractors have been roped in to move fuel to petrol stations all over Johannesburg and beyond while Engen's own delivery trucks stand idle because drivers are on strike. The private trucks make their runs under armed escorts provided by private security contractors.

It is against this background that petroleum industry employers have not been in any rush to go back to the negotiating table and the union is not too optimistic about a deal being reached by Friday.

Employers maintain that it is business as usual at refineries across the country and that the fuel is still being delivered to petrol stations.

They maintain that incidents of pumps running dry at some places around the country are only as a result of panic buying by motorists.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK