OperationsPorts and Logistics

Transnet faces strike action as pay talks collapse

Two labor unions at South Africa’s logistics group Transnet plan to take strike action in a dispute over pay.

The United National Transport Union (UNTU) said it served a 48-hour notice on Transnet of its intention to embark on a protected strike from October 6, while the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said it would down tools as early as Monday, October 10.

South Africa’s main port operator offered a 1.5% pay increase and a once-off payment of R10,000 ($563) before tax, saying the offer was reasonable taking into account the company’s financial and operational challenges.

Satawu and UNTU rejected the offer and are demanding Transnet’s pay increase must be aligned with the rise in the cost of living and current inflation in South Africa currently at 7.6%.

Transnet said it applied to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to try and break the deadlock with the labor unions. Satawu said a mediation process is expected to start on October 12 and that it won’t affect the strike action.

Transnet has been operating below capacity due to a shortage of locomotives, inadequate maintenance, vandalism and theft of its infrastructure, costing miners billions of rands in potential revenue.

“Transnet has consistently made the point that its wage bill currently makes up over 66% of monthly operating costs,” the company said in a statement. “This is not sustainable, particularly given the current operational and financial performance.”

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.
Back to top button