Pumps run dry as strike continues
PETROL stations around Cape Town have started running dry as a result of the petroleum industry workers strike, with some saying they have just enough fuel to last until this afternoon.
Workers affiliated to the Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union downed tools on Thursday following failed salary negotiations.
Weekend Argus contacted service stations yesterday, and many said they were experiencing shortages.
A few said they were still supplying fuel but their reserves were dwindling.
A service station manager in Diep River said his station had enough fuel for the weekend, but they were beginning to run short.
The effect of the strike will not only be felt by service stations and motorists; companies which supply fuel are also feeling the pinch.
Chevron spokeswoman Suzanne Pullinger said yesterday they were doing everything possible to maintain supply.
“Chevron has prepared for the strike in an effort to reduce the impact on motorists. Refinery operations are continuing and we are doing as much as possible to maintain the supply of fuel to our network of Caltex stations,” she said.
But she said the safety of staff, the public and the environment were Chevron’s top business imperatives.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and will adjust our contingency plans to address any potential knock-on effects that may arise from the strike,” Pullinger said.
Late yesterday the National Petroleum Employers Association (NPEA) confirmed the strike stemmed from a deadlock in the annual wage negotiations with Ceppwawu.
The union is proposing a 9 percent increase for a single year agreement, while employers want a two-year agreement by which employees will get a 7 percent increase in the first year and an increase linked to the April 2017 CPI plus 1.5 percent in year two.