Sunday Independent reports that Cosatu affiliate, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu), has rejected the essential services committee’s plan to declare the fuel industry an essential service. Such a declaration would prevent workers in that sector from striking. The union has threatened to strike if the production, transport and distribution of fuel is declared an essential service. “Ceppwawu rejects this outright and the union will organise all union members to mass pickets outside these hearings,” the union indicated last week. The committee, which reports to the Department of Labour, recently announced that it would hold hearings across the country next month as part of its investigation.
It advised Independent Media that the bid to declare the production, transport and distribution of fuel an essential service was a self-initiated investigation in terms of the Labour Relations Act (LRA). “The union objects and rejects the intention to declare the petroleum industry an essential service, and as we speak, we are mobilising our members and shop stewards on the ground to prepare for a mother of all battles,” Ceppwawu stated. The chemical union is planning to mobilise through Cosatu for the federation’s affiliates to join it in the fight against the committee’s plans. Separately, the committee has launched a probe into the possibility of altering its September 1997 declaration of correctional services and services required for the functioning of courts as an essential service.
by Loyiso Sidimba
Ref: SA Labour News