Global Processing

South African Energy Workers Join Strike Over Pay Increases

July 11, 2011
Bloomberg reports, South African oil workers at refineries run by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and Sasol Ltd. Have joined in a weeklong metal industry strike to demand higher pay. About 70,000 workers in the oil industry stopped work after employers failed to heed their demands for wage increases of 11 percent to 13 percent and for the use of contract workers to be terminated, Clement Chitja, head of negotiations at the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union, said by phone. Striking oil workers could threaten fuel supplies in a nation whose six refineries have a combined processing capacity of about 692,000 barrels a day. Rising wage settlements may also push up consumer prices and increase pressure on the central bank of Africa’s largest economy to raise interest rates from a 30-year low. Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa went on strike for a 13 percent wage increase on July 4. Anglo American Plc’s Scaw Metals Group unit said July 5 it’s trying to mitigate the impact on operations. A settlement may be close, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation said on its website today.