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Car, petrol strikes: Parties back to the table

Sep 19 2013 10:38 Sapa
Casual petrol attendants are manning the pumps at

Casual petrol attendants are manning the pumps at the Bothaville Caltex station in the Free State. (Fin24 user)

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Johannesburg - Employers and striking petrol attendants and vehicle industry workers were set to meet on Thursday as the strike continued in the sector.

"The strike continues and we are meeting with the employers tonight. We hope employers put a proper offer to workers to end the strike," said National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) national treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo.

The Fuel Retailers' Association (FRA), which along with the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) organisation represents employers in the sector, hoped the parties could come to a resolution soon.

"We are hoping the area of deadlocks will be resolved," said FRA CEO Reggie Sibiya.

"We are hoping that each party has reflected upon their position, so they could come and contribute positively to break the deadlock."

He said for employers it was about ensuring that every decision taken did not compromise the sustainability of the industry.

"We would like to see an agreement being signed as soon as possible. Our employees have expectations so we are very optimistic," said Sibiya.

"We believe that there needs to be a balance between employer and employee value propositions, so we hope that we find each other and move forward."

Numsa has demanded a R30 an hour across the board increase by 2016 on actual rates of pay in all sectors, and divisions for workers earning above R6 000 a month.

On Thursday last week, Numsa KwaZulu-Natal regional secretary Mbuso Ngubane said a revised offer of a 7.5% wage increase had been rejected.

On Tuesday, the RMI was granted an urgent interdict by the Johannesburg Labour Court to prevent violence by striking workers.

"The RMI has expressed grave concern over the manner in which striking members of Numsa have ignored the picketing rules," said RMI CEO Jakkie Olivier in a statement.

"Due to the vigilance of our members, we have been receiving daily updates about the violence... which we reported to Numsa with a request that the union intervene."

Olivier said this was ignored and the RMI "felt obligated" to seek legal action.

Petrol attendants and car repair workers affiliated to Numsa began the nation-wide strike 11 days ago.

 - SAPA


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