Johannesburg - Labour unions behind the Transnet strike have called on other trade unions to join
them in "an unprecedented solidarity
action" after the breakdown of talks to
resolve ongoing industrial
action at the logistics utility.
was adamant there would be no improvement on its offer," said United
Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) secretary general Chris de Vos on
“We have requested our federation,
the Federation of Unions of SA], to help call all our
affiliate unions to come out and support us in an unprecedented mass action
De Vos said
attempts by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to
broker a deal - during which Utatu and the
South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) lowered their 15%
wage increase demand to 13% - have failed.
had refused to budge on its 11% increment offer by Sunday evening. "Last
night we were negotiating on an unmandated 12% increase, which Transnet still
refused," said De Vos.
issued a joint statement on Monday, saying they would intensify the strike.
Cosatu-affiliated Satawu was also set to request the federation to lend support
through a solidarity mass campaign of fellow affiliates to put pressure on Transnet.
'Step off their inflexible
effectively walked away from any negotiated settlement,
after stating an unwillingness to budge on any item of money substance,"
read the joint statement.
It said the
13% compromise was "stonewalled" by Transnet
negotiators, who were only prepared to
reduce contract employment in the company by 2012 and guarantee no
retrenchments for the next three months. "On every other item they
remained absolutely rigid," said the unions, which represent about 85% of
entered its second week on Monday, and there seems to be no resolution in
sight. Transnet, which claims strike-related sabotage
has cost it R24m in infrastructure damage, said it was continuing to implement
contingency plans to ensure critical flows and the
transport of commodities to their destinations.
also have a comprehensive recovery plan to address the backlog when the strike
is resolved," said acting group CEO Chris Wells.
said Transnet must be "instructed" by
its shareholder - government - to "step off their inflexible
pedestal" and resolve the strike.
unions we have come to the conclusion that Transnet negotiators are acting in
bad faith, and are incompetent and uncaring of the company and its workers,
despite what they say in their full-page
newspaper adverts. We believe they have been misleading their own board,
government and the public."