Business: Wage Agreement Still Not Reached in Petroleum Sector
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According to Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans, Solidarity and other trade unions in the sector are demanding a wage increase of 10% in a one-year agreement. However, employers are now offering a wage increase of 9% for this year as well as a wage increase of consumer price inflation plus 1,5% for 2010 in a two-year agreement. Kleynhans emphasized that it is exactly the principle of a multi-year agreement that is hampering negotiations. “Solidarity is not open to a multi-year agreement exactly because the economic conditions could be completely different by next year and it would not be in the interest of the employees to determine a wage increase now for that period.”
Various demands, including standby allowances, work hours, and maternity leave and annual holiday leave, have meanwhile been moved to company level.
Wage negotiations in this sector of the National Bargaining Council for the Chemical Industry have been dragging on since May this year. A dispute was declared in June and following the failure of a dispute round, which resumed last week, a mediation session was called by a commissioner of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). A further session still has to be scheduled.
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