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Transnet agrees wage deal with key labour union

South Africa’s ports and freight-rail operator Transnet has agreed a wage deal with its largest labour union, ending a strike that resulted in a major delay in commodities exports and millions in losses.

“Transnet and the company’s majority union United Transport and Allied Trade Union (UNTU) reached a three-year wage agreement today,” the logistics group said in a statement late yesterday.

UNTU members, who represent close to 54% of the company’s workforce, went on strike on October 6, demanding a pay increase above 7.6%, which was South Africa’s inflation rate in August.

Transnet said it had agreed on a 6% increase for the current financial year, a 5.5% raise next year and a further 6% boost in 2024, effective from April next year.

“The company’s priority in the immediate is clearing any backlogs across the port and rail system – prioritising urgent and time-sensitive cargo, and implementing recovery plans,” Transnet said.

Meanwhile, Transnet’s second-largest labor union, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), which went on strike on October 10, has yet to agree to a pay deal.

South African miners have been particularly hard hit by the strike, with lobby group Minerals Council South Africa, whose members account for more than 80% of Transnet’s rail business, estimating losses of 815m rands ($45m) a day.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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