Transnet strike to expand, says union

2010-05-11 09:47

A strike against Transnet is set to expand today with more

non-union workers joining, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu)


Satawu policy research officer, Jane Barrett, said: “We’re

expecting a bigger turnout today. All indications are that there are increasing

numbers of workers who are not Satawu joining the strike.”

She said Satawu members would march in Mafikeng and Port


Barrett said the union had not had any indication from Transnet

that it wished to return to negotiations.

Transnet’s last offer to the unions was to improve their salary

increase from 8% to 11%. However, the company wanted concessions on such issues

as maternity leave, temporary workers and retrenchments.

Despite the concessions and vocal threats to strike, the leadership

of the United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) recommended its

acceptance and took the offer to its members for a mandate.

Utatu general secretary, Chris de Vos, said: “We believe under the

circumstances that it’s a reasonable, good offer but we took it in a democratic

way to consult our members unlike some other unions.”

Satawu had refused to consult its members because it said

Transnet’s offer fell before the minimum threshold of their bargaining


Utatu will announce at 1pm today whether its members have accepted

the offer.

De Vos acknowledged that the issue of retrenchments was concerning

but hoped that future negotiations may deal with it.

In the interim, he claimed that because of the many vacancies at

Transnet and demand for overtime it was unlikely that retrenchments would


De Vos said: “We can’t see anyone getting retrenched, there’s so

many vacancies it’s unbelievable.”

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