The AA has warned motorists to fill up their tanks to avoid queues at petrol stations at the start of the school holidays on Friday.
This comes amid reports that employers and Numsa, which represents striking petrol attendants, are still deadlocked in negotiations.
Another sector of Numsa members, those who work in car retail, parts manufacturing and panel beating, have been striking along with petrol attendants since last week.
Many stations have managed to stay open, however, using non-striking and replacement attendants.
“It is very difficult to gauge which stations are operational. The general advice would be, if you know of a station that is open, fill up now and don’t drive away from your city in the hope of finding a service station elsewhere. Do so early as well, to avoid queues on Friday,” an AA spokesman said yesterday.
Meanwhile, both employers and union representatives have confirmed that negotiations are deadlocked.
“The teams went late into the night (on Monday), but yet there was nothing new or positive to report (by Tuesday morning). We will call our members to a meeting in Bellville to report back to them (today),” said Vuyo Lufele, regional secretary for Numsa in the Western Cape.
Jakkie Olivier, chief executive officer of employers’ representative body, Retail Motor Industry, explained that negotiations could not get beyond the issue of a “peace clause”.
Employers want to retain the clause in a new agreement, while Numsa want to do away with it.
“The clause essentially ensures that workers are barred from striking at plant level for specific grievances with their employers after the national, collective agreement is reached. It undermines the whole concept of centralised bargaining,” Olivier explained.
Without an agreement on the peace clause, wages and other demands couldn’t be discussed, he added.
As negotiations continued yesterday, the employers’ legal team managed to secure an interdict against Numsa members in the Gauteng labour court. The interdict should ensure that strikers will not break the pre-agreed picketing rules – prohibiting strikers from intimidating workers and invading their employers’ properties.
Olivier said the strike-related violence was unacceptable. “We will not hesitate to take Numsa back to court if the interdict is not adhered to. In that eventuality, the union’s leadership will be held accountable for the actions of its members.”
In Grassy Park last week, an on-duty petrol attendant, Adeen Wadie, 55, was allegedly killed by striking workers. -Cape Argus