Satawu accuses Transnet management of stalling wage negotiations

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The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), has accused Transnet’s top management of stalling wage negotiations after talks deadlocked on Wednesday night.

Satawu and the United National Transport Union (Untu) members are striking, seeking a wage increase of up to 13%, while Transnet is offering between 4 and 5%.

Satawu’s Deputy President, Nkoketse Sepogwane says, “The employer, late last night, regressed from the 5% they were offering to 4.5% and we deadlocked again. Then we decided to take a break again and go to the picketing lines with our members because the employer is not negotiating in good faith anymore and the employer is stalling. We thought the negotiations were progressing because of the involvement of the CCMA but the employer is just not pulling their side.”

VIDEO: Union members stick to double-digit wage increase as negotiations continue:

Economic recovery

Earlier, the Western Cape authorities said the ongoing strike by Transnet workers will be a major setback to the province’s economic recovery.

The Western Cape Cabinet met and was briefed by Provincial Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger. She outlined the impact of the strike, particularly on the Port of Cape Town.

Wenger said while marine services are functional, operations, especially at the container terminals, are limited.

She said the strike poses a risk to the province’s agricultural sector, which is highly export driven.

Premier Alan Winde said  the economy cannot take another hit like a strike.

He said the industrial action comes at a critical time as the economy is still emerging from the impact of COVID-19 and continuously grappling with the energy crisis.

Meanwhile, the strike in the Eastern Cape is already starting to impact on imports and exports from the two harbours in Gqeberha.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber said  their members are reporting that some of their operations are affected.

VIDEO: Impact on Eastern Cape: