Efforts to establish picketing rules with Transnet management unsuccessful: Unions

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The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and the United National Transport Union (Untu) say efforts to establish picketing rules with Transnet management for Monday’s planned national strike have been unsuccessful.

The unions say Transnet is breaking the Labour Relations Act by refusing to establish picketing rules.

On Sunday, the Labour Court dismissed Transnet’s urgent interdict to have the strike declared unprotected.

VIDEO: Transnet loses court bid to declare strike unlawful:

The unions have condemned Transnet for threatening workers with disciplinary action if they join the strike.

Amanda Tshemese is Satawu’s head of communications, “The employer has refused to sign the picketing rules, not just that, the employer is also harassing and threatening our members. They sent SMS to the workers threatening that should they participate in the strike on Monday, there’s going to be disciplinary action against them because the strike is illegal and they could be fired. This despite the court ruling that the strike is protected and legal. The ruling was made this afternoon, we have warned the employer to stop misleading the workers, the strike is going on Monday, it’s legal and it’s protected.”

Satawu has vowed to shut down all Transnet services from Monday.

The union is seeking a wage increase of between 12 and 13% while Transnet is offering 3%.

Satawu Deputy President Nkoketse Sepogwane  says, “We have chosen strategic places where we’re going to picket, even though the employer has been stalling the process of agreeing on picketing rules purposefully, to try and continue with the narrative that the strike is unprotected and illegal, which is fallacy on the basis that we’ve complied with all the nitty gritties of the Labour Relations Act, including the constitution of Transnet bargaining council which is governing the bargaining between us and the employer. So, we are going to go full force on Monday, we’re going to shut down all Transnet services.”

VIDEO: Transnet’s Ayanda Shezi says their salary bill is sitting at 66% of total operating costs and that is not sustainable: