SASOL:  52,536   +40 (+0.08%)  15/10/2018 00:00

South Africa's Sasol, union begin talks to end strike

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 19 (Reuters) - South Africa's mainly white union Solidarity and Sasol said on Wednesday they would begin negotiations overseen by a labour tribunal to try to end a strike by the union over a share scheme offered exclusively to black staff.

Thousands of the unions members have been on a go-slow for more than two weeks ago at the petrochemicals company, which is the world's leader for making motor fuel from coal, saying the share scheme is discriminatory because it excludes white workers.

Sasol said last year it would raise its black ownership levels in to at least 25 percent by offering shares to black workers in a 21 billion rand ($1.5 billion) deal.

The energy company has said that it implemented the share scheme in line with South African laws which require companies to meet quotas on black ownership, employment and procurement as part of a drive to reverse decades of exclusion under apartheid.

Meeting the rules makes a company more likely to qualify for government tenders.

"Solidarity and Sasol are set to start talks at the CCMA in Johannesburg today in a bid to end Solidarity’s protracted strike at Sasol," the union said in a statement.

Sasol said it would take part in the talks with Solidarity arbitrated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). It was not clear how long the negotiations would last.

Solidarity said the strike and go-slow have impacted Sasol's maintenance projects. Sasol admitted that it had experienced some delays during its maintenance shutdown at its Secunda operations due to the strike.

Sasol has said parts of its flagship Secunda and Sasolberg plants, which produce fuel and chemicals respectively, have been undergoing scheduled maintenance shutdowns. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by James Macharia)

2018-09-19 10:36:35

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