Untu praises members for conduct during Transnet strike

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The United National Transport Union (Untu) has commended its members for the manner in which they conducted themselves amid the Transnet strike.

Untu and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) rejected Transnet’s revised wage offer of between 4.25% and 5%.

Workers have emphasised that any offer below the current inflation rate, of 7.6%, is unacceptable.

Untu’s President is Steven Leshabane says, “We are satisfied with the turnout and the way the members behave themselves and the impact.

However, we don’t hope for a prolonged strike because the aim is not to collapse the economy, the aim is to get a decent salary increase.

We seem to be too understanding as the unions and what is expected by the employees and if they still want to play that game then we know how to play it better.”

Cost of living

Untu says they were compelled to take part in the Transnet strike due to the escalating cost of living.

 On Tuesday, police were forced to use grenades and teargas to disperse striking workers who had gathered to protest at the Transnet depot in Bloemfontein in the Free State, wounding two of them.

Untu’s Minette Meiring says they will not back down.

Meiring says, “We have to come here because we believe that our people need and deserve a decent wage increase. They deserve for things that they work for every single day. These are the people that are working to increase this economy and look after some of them are bread winners. The only bread winners in their family, so we need to show the management that we are here, and we are very serious about their people and their future.”

On Tuesday, unions encouraged members to intensify strike action as wage negotiations continue:

Additional reporting Ishmael Modiba