Bloomberg News

South African Oil Workers May End Strike After Revised Offer

July 27, 2011

(Updates with union comment from first paragraph.)

July 27 (Bloomberg) -- A 17-day strike by workers at the South African units of oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Petroliam Nasional Bhd. may be called off tomorrow after “positive” feedback from union members on a revised pay offer.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the outcome will be positive” when unions meet tomorrow in Johannesburg, said Dirk Hermann, the deputy head of the Solidarity trade union.

Workers polled so far by the General Industries Workers Union reacted “positively” to the revised offer, Edson Ntsibande, a spokesman for the union, said in a telephone interview. The union is still getting feedback from some regions, he said.

Members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) are still discussing the offer, according to Jerry Nkosi, its chief negotiator.

CEPPWAWU, GIWUSA and the South African Chemical Workers Unions have been on strike since July 11, demanding pay increases of 11 percent to 13 percent, more than double the country’s 5 percent inflation rate. The dispute has caused lines of cars at gas stations in cities including Johannesburg and cut production at refineries.

Other companies that have been affected by the strike include BP Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA, Sasol Ltd. and PetroSA.

--Editors: Stephen Cunningham, Vernon Wessels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jana Marais in Johannesburg at jmarais@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net


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