Strike could hit SA fuel supply

The Fuel Retailers’ Association (FRA) on Saturday said filling stations across South Africa are at risk of running dry if a planned strike by fuel workers takes place on Monday.

According to the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu), around 70,000 workers are expected to go on strike over a wage dispute. The union said the mass action will affect oil refineries and the fuel pipeline between Durban and Gauteng.

The FRA’s Reggie Sibiya said the sector was hit by a series of strikes in 2010.

“When there was the Satawu (South African Transport & Allied Workers Union) strike, our sector was affected,” he said. “Last year, we had our own strike which also disrupted our businesses and now we have this strike.”

Sibiya added that filling station owners have been warned to prepare themselves for what could be a protracted strike.

Ceppwawu members are demanding a wage increase of between 11 and 13 percent, while employers are offering four to seven percent. Unions are also calling for a ban on labour brokers.

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