Employer body keen to meet union to end fuel strike stand-off

The NPEA hopes to meet with Ceppwawu over its 9% pay hike demand - the employer is offering 7%.

Picture: Katharyn Williams-Jaftha/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Petroleum Employers Association (NPEA) says it hopes to meet with Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppawu) soon to resolve the impasse over a wage deal.

The union is demanding a pay hike of 9%, while the NPEA is offering 7%.

The strike is affecting deliveries from oil refineries and fuel depots in some areas across the country.

The association's Zimisele Mjamane says, "We are also holding our position of a 7% increase in year one. We met on Friday and we still did not reach an agreement then, so we are still hoping we'll meet again sometime soon and try and resolve the dispute."

However, earlier Ceppwawu said its willingness to compromise on its wage demands over the past few years had led to great losses for workers.

Spokesperson Clement Chitja says they won't back down.

"We held a meeting last Friday with the employers association, they remained adamant and arrogant. They simply said to us, you began the strike - you end it."