Sasol’s plant in Secunda. Picture: SOWETAN
Sasol’s plant in Secunda. Picture: SOWETAN

MEMBERS of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Sasol’s Secunda operation downed tools on Thursday‚ after failed wage negotiations.

Amcu national treasurer Jimmy Gama said 1,600 workers had joined the protected strike.

"The dispute is about salary increases. Members demanded a R12,500 as a basic salary. Sasol offered 7%."

The lowest paid among the strikers currently earns R7‚300‚ Gama said‚ adding that other issues like housing and transport are included in the workers’ grievances.

"As the members are on strike now‚ we will wait for the company. If they want to meet‚ if they’ve got something which they want to present‚ which is far better than what they offered‚ we will meet with them. Otherwise the members will continue with the strike‚" Gama said of possible future negotiations with Sasol.

"As long as the company is not coming forward‚ no one can say how long the strike will last."

Sasol spokesperson Alex Anderson said the company was aware of the strike in its mining business. "Operations continue as normal with no impact on production.

"Sasol has put contingency plans in place to ensure that safe‚ reliable and stable operations are maintained during this time. We will continue to proactively monitor the situation‚" Anderson said.

However, Gama said he expects the strike to impact Sasol significantly with between 50% and 70% of its Secunda operation affected.

"I’m not too sure what contingency plan they have. We will have to wait and see if it works for them‚" he said.

The strike comes after the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration issued a certificate of non-resolution to the parties this month‚ leaving wage negotiations deadlocked.

TMG Digital