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Sugar industry workers to strike if wage negotiations are not brought back on track

The trade union UASA and other trade union parties reached a deadlock in its wage negotiations in the National Bargaining Council for the Sugar Manufacturing and Refining Industry late on Friday night, 11th May 2012. Trade unions Uasa, Nasarieu and Fawu were issued with a certificate stating that the deadlock could not be resolved. A strike could cripple the sugar industry giants, Tongaat Sugar, Illovo Sugar, TSB Sugar, MSN Sugar and Ushukela Sugar.

It will have a huge and negative impact within the sugar industry as a whole. The areas which will be affected will include all of the manufacturing sugar companies as above as well as warehousing, refineries, and sugar terminals through which the imported sugar is conveyed.   The entire industry will come to a standstill which will mean a whole lot of other industries will be affected, such as the sweets, cool drinks and baking industries.

Meanwhile talks resumed this week with management increasing their final offer from 7% to 8% across the board. The mandate of UASA members is a 9% across the board increase. UASA approached the CCMA to assist to resolve the dispute and it seems that the parties will meet over the week-end with the CCMA.

UASA is in the process of ballotting its members and should the majority of our members vote in favour of a strike, we will follow due process.