Fuel retailers’ contingency plans

2011-02-15 13:00

Fuel retailers put in place contingency plans as a countrywide freight industry strike continued today, the SA Petroleum Retailers Association (Sapra) said.

Sapra executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo said an industry meeting was held on Tuesday morning to assess the situation.

Reports from the ground showed that there had been incidents of intimidation.

The retailers have “released their contingency plans” to ensure that fuel pumps do not run dry.

Tshifularo said the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) would continue monitoring the strike.

It was unclear today what the extent of the fuel shortages was, he said.

“We are just concerned about the reports of intimidation, that’s what worries us.”

Yesterday, Sapia said the service stations most affected by fuel shortages were in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

The strike over wages, involving four unions, turned violent yesterday with reports of intimidation in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.

The four unions, the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA, the Professional Transport Workers’ Union (PTWU), the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union, and the Motor Transport Workers’ Union (MTWU) were due to meet the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) today.

The unions have demanded a 20% increase over two years, for example 10% in this year and 10% next year.

The RFEA was offering an increase of 7.5% across the board for this year and a further 7.5% increase for 2012.

All four unions said they would negotiate on the 10%increase, but would not easily go below 8.5%.

The last freight strike was in 2009. It lasted a week and turned violent.

Non-striking truck drivers were shot at, stoned and forced to flee their damaged vehicles.

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