No agreement at CCMA between Solidarity and Sasol | Fin24
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No agreement at CCMA between Solidarity and Sasol

Sep 19 2018 20:00

Solidarity and Sasol were unable to reach an agreement at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Wednesday, the union said in a statement.

According to Solidarity CEO Dr Dirk Hermann, the mediation was deferred to get more clarity on the final Mining Charter’s wording.

Meanwhile, Solidarity’s strike continues. According to Sasol’s latest reports, its maintenance project is already about 144 hours behind schedule.

Solidarity has also decided to escalate the strike to a day of protest involving all 180 000 of its members.

Last week, the high court set aside a decision by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) not to approve Solidarity’s application for all its members to go on a lawful strike in a show of solidarity with the Sasol workers. Solidarity will again appear before Nedlac this coming Friday.

According to Hermann, it is not just in the interests of Sasol, but of South Africa that the dispute is resolved.

"South Africa should not settle for simplistic solutions such as racial exclusion for complex problems," Hermann said.

The final version of the Mining Charter is now before Cabinet for approval. According to this charter, all workers, irrespective of race, must be part of employee share ownership plans.

In Solidarity's view, Sasol owns coal mines and must, therefore, comply with the Mining Charter.

"Mining Charter negotiations took years to complete and involved business, government, trade unions and local communities. Through its Khanyisa Plan, Sasol wishes to contravene the agreement reached between these parties," claims Hermann.

"The point of departure during the charter negotiations was that workers are workers and that they should not be divided on the basis of race. What Sasol is doing now is the complete opposite, namely to cause major racial tension and division."

On Wednesday evening, Sasol spokesperson Alex Anderson said the Khanyisa scheme was part of the company's plans for transformation and to participate in an "inclusive economy". 

"At the mediation, Sasol reaffirmed our commitment to transformation and inclusive growth through our Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) programmes, of which Sasol Khanyisa is an important component," Anderson said. "We reiterated our position that transformation is, and will remain, a business, social and moral imperative for Sasol."

Anderson added: "Sasol Khanyisa presents but one step Sasol is taking to bring about a more inclusive economy by affording an opportunity specifically to previously disadvantaged groups, as defined by the Department of Trade and Industry’s B-BBEE codes. 

"We look forward to further constructive engagements with Solidarity when we reconvene."

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solidarity  |  ccma  |  sasol  |  labour  |  strike action


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