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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Transnet and unions to meet in CCMA as Satawu also join strike

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Transnet and trade unions are to meet for talks on Monday, under the guidance of the Commission of Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the company and unions have confirmed.

Workers from the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) are expected to join the strike on Monday. Their colleagues, represented by the United National Transport Union (Untu) began their strike on Thursday.

In a statement on Sunday the company said:

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Transnet continues to engage with organised labour, to find an amicable solution to the ongoing industrial action, which has a profoundly negative impact not only on employees and the company, but on the economy as well. We are hopeful that the meeting will bring parties closer together in reaching an agreement which balances the needs of workers while protecting Transnet’s continued sustainability.

Read also: Union opposes private sector take over of Transnet’s Nqgura container terminal fearing mass job losses

A joint statement by trade unions on Saturday confirmed that they would participate in the CCMA process. In the absence of agreed picketing rules – which they blame on the employer – unions said strikers would peacefully gather outside Transnet premises.

Transnet employs 40,000 people and employment costs make up 66% of its cost base. The company is under pressure as volumes continue to fall in its freight business and events such as floods and a cyber-attack have damaged its ability to service customers. It has offered workers a wage increase of 3%, 3,5 or 4% depending on their grade. Employees are demanding a 12% increase.

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Transnet has also offered a once gratuity of R5000 to be paid at the end of the financial year.

Transnet says it believes that the strike is not protected due to unions not following the correct procedures. But an urgent attempt to interdict the strike on Friday failed when the court ruled that the matter was not urgent. The full application is still to be heard.

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