June 26, 2014 / 4:15 PM / 4 years ago

S.Africa refinery, petroleum workers sign wage deal

JOHANNESBURG, June 26 (Reuters) - Around 10,000 South African workers at the country’s refineries and petrol distributors have agreed to a two-year wage deal, a rare positive development in labour relations in the strike-hit economy.

Gerrie Bezuidenhout, secretary of the National Petroleum Employers’ Association, told Reuters the agreement covered engineers and other skilled workers at companies such as petrochemicals producer Sasol.

The agreement provides for an 8.5 percent wage hike in the first year, followed by inflation plus 1.5 percent in the second year. Inflation in Africa’s most advanced economy is running at 6.6 percent.

South Africa is reeling from a five-month strike in the platinum mining industry which ended this week and is bracing for a stoppage set to start on July 1 by 220,000 members of the NUMSA metal workers’ union, that will hit sectors including engineering, communications and automotive components. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by David Holmes)

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