newsFin24 reports that contract workers at an Astron Energy refinery that supplies Caltex petrol stations say they have been locked out by the company for demanding more than the national minimum wage (NMW).  

About 96 contract workers at the former Chevron refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town, spent most of Wednesday outside locked gates after refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement about how much they earned.  Astron’s Suzanne Pullinger said the workers in question were employed by Tsebo, a contractor offering services to Astron, but she advised that the company would investigate the incident.  One of the workers locked out, said they were called into the refinery’s management office on Wednesday as they had asked management last month to review their wages from the current R22 per hour to R45.  But when they got there, they were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, stating that they would not raise the issue again or disclose to anyone else how much they earned.  The contract workers have been in employment at the refinery for a month and the contracts they signed stipulate that their wage would be R22 per hour.  That rate is, however, higher than the national minimum wage of R20 for workers in general.  The workers said they would be heading to the CCMA on Thursday morning and the EFF had invited them to its offices afterwards.


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