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Sapia delivers fuel to some Gauteng stations as strike continues

Negotiations between Ceppwawu and the National Petroleum Employers' Association have reached a deadlock.

The deadlock in wage talks between Ceppwawau and the National Petroleum Employers’ Association is negatively affecting petrol stations and their employees. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Petroleum Industry Association says while the strike in the sector continues, it's managed to deliver fuel to some petrol stations in Gauteng.

Nearly two weeks ago, at least 15,000 workers affiliated to the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) downed tools, demanding a nine percent wage increase. The employer is offering 7%.

Negotiations between Ceppwawu and the National Petroleum Employers' Association have reached a deadlock, as both parties refuse to compromise.

The association's Abhafani Shifularo says: "The challenge that you face is those people who try to block those who are keen to go to work, but law enforcement agencies have been helping to clear areas where we have been unable to move in and out."

Meanwhile, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it is defending what it calls a justifiable demand by the striking workers.

Numsa says the protracted strike is now affecting its members, who work at petrol stations, as they are being sent home due to dry petrol pumps.

Spokesperson Ivan Jim says: "Instead of the employers in that situation to increase workers' wages and settle the current dispute, they're busy employing scabs to drive those trucks to deliver fuel and this is openly undermining of genuine demands of workers."