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Strike could cause fuel shortages

| Economic factors

Energy workers plan to start a wage strike on Thursday 28th July 2016, potentially affecting crude oil refineries and fuel depots.

About 23,000 workers in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors belonging to the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) are expected to down tools, Clement Chitja, head of collective bargaining, said.

"We want a deal of 9% in one year," Chitja said. Employer associations were offering less and looking for multi-year agreements, he said.

The National Petroleum Employers Association was not available to comment.

The work stoppage could further damage the economy, which is forecast by the central bank to remain stagnant this year after expanding 1.3% in 2015.

SA is a net importer of refined petroleum products and a prolonged strike could lead to shortages ahead of municipal elections in August.

Shell and BP jointly operate SA’s largest refinery, the 190,000-barrel-a-day Sapref plant on the east coast, with Chevron, Sasol and PetroSA also running refineries.

Reuters

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