Chemical and paper union declares wage dispute

2010-07-01 08:18

The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’

Union (Ceppwawu) had declared a dispute with a number of companies in various

sectors, the union said today.

Ceppwawu, which organises in a wide range of sectors, has over the

past months been involved in wage negotiations for 2010.

While the negotiations were continuing in some of the sectors and

while some employers were co-operating, others were unwilling to meet workers’

demands, the union said.

The affected sectors were pharmaceutical, industrial chemicals,

fast-moving consumer goods, and pulp and paper.

In the pharmaceutical sector, the dispute arose from failure of

employers to meet the wage demands by the union.

“The workers demanded a wage increase of 12%, while employers are

willing to offer only 7.5%, which is much less,” Ceppwawu said.

There was also a demand for a minimum wage of R5 500, which the

employers had failed to meet.

“A certificate of non-resolution has already been issued.”

In the industrial chemicals sector, the workers had demanded a wage

increase of 10% and a minimum wage of R4 500, but employers could only offer

7.5% and R4 000, respectively.

“A shift allowance of 18% was dismissed by employers, who only

offered 12%,” the union said.

In pulp and paper, a dispute had been referred to the bargaining

council and was awaiting a date for conciliation.

“The employers failed to meet the workers’ demands of R8 000

minimum wages, 10% shift allowance and 13% wage increase, while employers are

only offering 5%.”

This was too low and not at all acceptable, the union said.

Other demands raised by the union across sectors were the total ban

on labour brokers, education subsidies for members and dependants, as well as

family responsibility leave.

“Many of these demands have not been met and the workers are


Ceppwawu said it was convening factory general meetings and

regional shop steward councils to obtain mandates from members on the way


“The union is disappointed that many employers are taking advantage

of the goodwill of the workers to see a peaceful World Cup without any labour

actions to exploit the workers.”

Ceppwawu said its members were not going to allow their rights to

be violated, based on an opportunistic sense of patriotism on the side of


“Ceppwawu will defend the rights of the workers to a decent living


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