Fuel workers' pay backdated

2011-07-28 18:08

Johannesburg - The two and a half week strike in the fuel sector ended on Thursday with unions accepting an 8.5% increase across the board and 10% for the lowest level.

The pay hike will be backdated to 1 July.

This was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon by Nerine Khan, the director of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

"The parties in the Petroleum Sector - the National Petroleum Employers' Association (NPEA), the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers' Union( CEPPWAWU), the General Industries Workers' Union of SA (GIWUSA), the South African Chemical Workers Union (SACWU) and Solidarity - reached an agreement, which officially brings an end to the strike in the sector," Khan said.

Khan said that all parties signed a settlement agreement, "in full and final settlement of substantive wages and terms and conditions of employment for the period 2011/12".

Soon after the CCMA made its announcement, trade union Solidarity said that an agreement of 8.5% across the board and 10% on the lowest level had been secured.  

"Today's agreement creates a balance between the needs of the employees, the employers, the public and SA," said Dirk Hermann, deputy general secretary of Solidarity.  

"The agreement will also help to repair the broken trust between employers and employees, which hampered negotiations this year," he added.

Herman said the wage agreement would be implemented retroactively from July 1 and is valid for a year.

Many fuel pumps in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal ran dry during the strike which was also marred by violence and intimidation.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) on Thursday confirmed that trade unions and petroleum companies had reached an agreement on wage negotiations.

Sapia said that the deadlock in wage negotiations for employees working in the petroleum sector had been amicably resolved, with an agreement being reached on an 8.5% across the board increase.

Avhapfani Tshifularo, executive director of Sapia, said employees had already started  returning to work.

  • dragon - 2011-07-28 18:32

    Go on strike, upset the whole country and then have backdated pay. How screwed up is that?

      Fanie - 2011-07-29 07:42

      ..If I where to strike I would be on the street 1 atto second later...possibly quicker.. But then again I do my work get Judged on PERFORMANCE and rewarded accordingly - NO I do not get 8.5 wish I did, but what I get I earned and I feel proud of that.

  • pensioner - 2011-07-28 18:43

    With the effective date being 1st July 2011, this means that the striking workers will get paid whilst they have been on strike. This goes totally against the principle of " NO WORK, NO PAY" If this is the case, this will encourage all striking workers to demand the same and thus the power of the employer has been totally destroyed.

      Crusader - 2011-07-29 06:00

      The days they were on strike will still be deducted.

  • Pieter Swart - 2011-07-28 20:04

    Amazing, they probably lost around R2500 to gain something like R50 more, that's R600 a year. So you are down R1900 you eejit, coz next year toy will do it again, while the union guys get paid no matter how long you strike

      B2187 - 2011-07-29 08:00

      Overseas strikers get a small amount per day from the Unions when there is a legal strike. Makes good sence, because they can bankrupt themself if the strike continues to long. Are RSA workers aware of this????

  • xrayeyes - 2011-07-28 22:02

    Was it agreed the pay increase is for 40 hour week or 45 hour week?

  • Dave50 - 2011-07-29 05:28

    I don't agree with the violence, but with the increasing cost of living that is running out of control can you realy blame people for wanting an increase that helps them to keep up with food prices. The government could take a cut in tax and divert the money to give people pay increases. Julius would be better fighting for this than his trust fund.

  • buzzliteyear - 2011-07-29 05:52

    Back dated to 01 July! No work no pay.........spineless companies, you are just encouraging more and more strikes. Never be surprised when they walk out again.. Let them strike, I will suffer each day and make a plan, the army will step in and deliver fuel like the rest of the world. Once you hurt their pockets long enough, they soon realize how stupid there are and return to work. Now the unions look like heroes and got them everything they wanted with no loss. Or, is this just bad reporting and not actually the truth?

  • Derick - 2011-07-29 07:25

    We have a lot of empathy with the workers in today's environment where electricity and other cost preasures makes surviving tough. What I cannot accept is the violance and intimidation that accompanies the strickes, brining severe hardship to those that cannot afford to strike. The "game" often played between employers and unions by extreme offers and demands is so disrupting in the lives of so many innocent people that do not have to be part of this game. It seems to be is merely a tool to legitimise trade union officials and sucure employment for them, at the cost of so many. Derick van der Merwe

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