SATAWU condemns UNTU’s decision to agree on a 6% wage increase

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The South African Transport and Allied Union (SATAWU) has condemned the United National Transport Union (UNTU) for entering into a 6% wage agreement with Transnet.

This after Transnet announced that it had reached a three-year wage agreement with UNTU. SATAWU says its members will remain on strike as they have not entered into a wage agreement with Transnet.

SATAWU says a 6% salary increase is a betrayal of workers as it remains below the current inflation rate of 7.6%.

Head of Communications at SATAWU, Amanda Tshemese says,  “We actually expected this from UNTU because that’s what they did in our previous negotiations. They keep on betraying and failing the workers of this country, blacks in particular. We remain on our picketing rules because we do not have an agreement with the employer. We are not going to sign up for anything that does not have job security, we are against the 6% increment. We will continue fighting for our people, we are saying no retrenchments at Transnet, but it is unfortunate that a majority party has signed for retrenchments at Transnet.”

Best Interest

Meanwhile, UNTU says signing the latest three-year wage agreement with Transnet was in the best interest of its members and the economy. Union President Steven Leshabana says he is pleased that the union also managed to negotiate a 5% increase to the housing allowance over the next three years.

“It’s less than what we were demanding but it’s more than what the company was offering because we were demanding something around inflation or above inflation. However, we are satisfied in that we couldn’t fight anymore. Sometimes you have to stop fighting because everyone is losing in the process so we can not use our egos and continue fighting whereas the employees are going to suffer the most. So we did this in the best interest of the employees, and also in the best interest of the company and the economy at large.”

UNTU’s Cobus van Vuuren on Transnet’s three-year wage deal: