Following a wage negotiation deadlock between workers in the glass sector and employers on Tuesday, a strike certificate was issued to trade unions in the glass sector of the chemical industry on Wednesday afternoon.
In an attempt to avert a strike in the sector, bilateral discussions were scheduled for July 30.
If negotiations on this date fail to resolve the deadlock, there is a possibility that a strike may be called shortly afterwards,” trade union Solidarity said in an emailed statement late on Wednesday.
However, Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans was hopeful that a settlement could be reached by Monday.
"It is very possible to resolve the dispute by next week, if employers table a new offer on Monday, " he said.
Employers are offering a two-year agreement, which included a 7% increase with an addition 0,25% in January 2008.
An increase of CPIX plus 0,5% was being offered for 2008.
Trade unions did not, however, want a two-year agreement and were demanding a 10% increase, Solidarity said.
Consol Glass and the PG Group are the largest companies taking part in the negotiations.
Meanwhile, wage negotiations were still under way in the industrial chemical and petrochemicals sectors.
"Talks are at a very critical stage and there is a great possibility that a settlement can be reached by today," Kleynhans told Engineering News in a telephone interview on Thursday.
Employers in the industrial chemicals sector were offering a 7,5% wage offer, while the petrochemicals sector was "currently voting on the new wage offer of 8%".