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The union was demanding a wage increase of between 11 to 13 percent
The union was demanding a wage increase of between 11 to 13 percent

Wage talks deadlock


iAfrica - Jun 22nd 2011, 12:34

Wage negotiations in the chemical, wood and paper sectors have deadlocked, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Worker' Union (Ceppwawu) said on Tuesday. 

"The wage negotiations in the National Bargaining Council for Chemical Industries (NBCCI) and the National Bargaining Council for the Wood and Paper Sectors (NBCWPS) have deadlocked," the union said in a statement.

The NBCCI includes the petroleum, glass, pharmaceutical, industrial chemical, and fast moving consumer goods companies.

The NBCWPS comprises the pulp and paper industries.

Union leaders would meet on Thursday "to take stock of the present state of wage negotiations and consider various options, including possible strike action".

The union was demanding a wage increase of between 11 to 13 percent, as well as job security for all workers, including temporary workers.

It also wanted housing and transport allowances and agreements for only one year, rather than multi-year agreements.

Ceppwawu said employers were offering wage increases of 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent.

"These wage offers are not only an affront to members but show that employers have no regard for the livelihood and needs of employees," the union said.

"Currently the CPI [consumer price inflation] is in upswing mode and the projection is that it will average six percent for 2011.

"To ensure a real improvement in the buying power of members, wages must increase by much more than the CPI."

The union said some employers were threatening to retrench hundreds of workers.

"The threat of job losses is meant to cast a dark shadow over the wage negotiations and with the intention of intimidating workers so that they can accept miserable wage increases and conditions." 

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