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Sasol's Share Ownership Scheme for Black Staff Triggers Threat of Strike

September 6, 2018

South African petrochemicals firm Sasol has been targeted by its workers union over an allegedly racist scheme for company ownership.

The white-dominated Solidarity Union has approximately 6,300 members working within Sasol’s South African facilities. The strike they’ve planned starting September 10 is to challenge a new plan just announced by Sasol to expand company ownership to its employees. The Solidarity Union says the scheme does expand company ownership, but it is only being offered to the company’s black staff.

Sasol, a global leader in converting from coal and gas production to more conventional fuels, does not deny the charges. It says it is responding to the country’s economic empowerment rules, which mandate local companies must meet certain quotas on black ownership, employment, and purchasing jobs. That requirement was an attempt by the South African government to reverse problems created during the apartheid era, when blacks were discriminated against in ownership and management jobs.

With the two sides in a stalemate on the issue, both sides plan to put pressure on the situation when it reaches a head next week. The Solidarity Union said in a statement that it intends “to switch off a different section of Sasol each day by means of well-laid and strategic plans”. A reported email leak from the company the management has “activated contingency measures to minimize potential disruption to our operations”.

 

Copyright: North America Procurement Council