S.African oil refinery workers end strike

28th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African oil refinery workers reached a pay deal on Thursday and ended an 18-day strike which saw petrol stations running dry for some days, a union official said.

"The strike in the petroleum sector is over. Unions took the latest offer from employers as mandated by the workers. We took the 8.5 increase and a 10 percent rise for the lowest-paid," Charles Phahla, general secretary of General Industries Workers Union of South Africa, told AFP.

"The employers met some of our demands, while other demands have been deferred to be discussed at plant level," he said.

About 16,000 workers at oil refineries will go back to work on Monday, he said.

Other industries, including in chemicals and pharmaceuticals, who joined the strike are still in talks with workers demanding raises of up to 13 percent, he added.

The strike was marred by incidents of intimidation and saw many petrol pumps in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal regions running dry, which prompted companies to call police to escort petrol delivery tanks.

© 2011 AFP

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