Satawu presses for wider transport strike

2012-10-08 07:51

Johannesburg - Rail freight operator Transnet is bracing for a one-day strike by port and rail workers in support of a walkout by 20 000 truckers that has hit fuel supplies around Johannesburg.

Large parts of the gold and platinum mining sectors have been brought to a standstill in the last two months by a wave of wildcat labour unrest.

State-owned Transnet said on Sunday it had been served with a notice of a walkout "in a week's time" by the Satawu transport union behind the two-week trucker stoppage, but did not say when it might occur.

"We are considering the notice and will activate our contingency measures to ensure minimal disruptions should the action materialise," Transnet said in a statement.

Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga said wage talks between freight bosses and unions were scheduled to restart on Tuesday after breaking down acrimoniously at the end of last week, but the union was still gearing up for action.

"We've issued notices. It is going ahead. We are mobilising," Masoga said.

Top producer Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] fired 12 000 illegal strikers on Friday, raising fears of even more violence around the "platinum belt" city of Rustenburg although the weekend passed off largely without incident.

The mine strikes look set to knock already shaky economic growth in South Africa and have already triggered a sharp sell-off in the rand. The trucker strike, if it persists, could have a far harsher and wider effect.

Oil giant Shell said on Friday it could not honour fuel delivery contracts around Johannesburg, declaring "force majeure" to free itself and customers from existing obligations, and other petrol suppliers are holding their breath.

General Motors reported disrupted production at its plant in the southern city of Port Elizabeth.

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC have been criticised as slow to respond to the strikes, although the ANC's long-standing ties to the unions and a looming internal leadership election mean decisive action is unlikely.

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  • pieter.pretorius.106 - 2012-10-08 08:01

    Hold unions accountable for all damages and losses suffered due to strikes they arranged and promoted.

      darryl.maze.5 - 2012-10-08 08:37

      I agree. They are bringing this country to a standstill and for what??? For ridiculous wages. All these unions must be held accountable. They mustpay for all the damages and loss of profits. It is getting out of hand and yet our lazy president has done nothing. Catch a wake up Mr president!!

      arthur.salvado - 2012-10-08 09:23

      And how would you do that? They, like the government , they are a law unto themselves.

      rudi.wet.5 - 2012-10-08 09:25

      Communist Mentality of the uneducated...

      mattewis.kat - 2012-10-08 14:08

      You can't hold the "poor" accountable for anything!

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-10-08 08:18

    To strike is the only thing Cosatu knows. Most of their members are lazy slow and ignorant and that is why so many foreigners are working in this country and many South Africans finds themselves without a job. A recession is looming and its clear that Vavi wasted his school fees. He knows nothing.

  • sakkie.pietie - 2012-10-08 08:23

    Shoot them! That's how you stop this BS!!!

      arthur.salvado - 2012-10-08 09:28

      Surely not a solution. That's exactly what's happened to the north of us. Silly boy

  • cornelius.parkin.7 - 2012-10-08 08:34

    I wish this strike would just end :-(. Its affecting my business...

  • cecilia.vanderwesthuizen.5 - 2012-10-08 08:47

    Get rid of cosatu and satawu. What they are doing is unlawful. Innocent peolpe are getting killed due to this strikes by barberic acts. Cosatu and satawu should be charged with murder. And they should pay for all the damages.

  • adriaan.pieterse - 2012-10-08 08:51

    It really seems as though they will not stop until SA's economy is wasted up in flames. Next year when none of us can afford food and we are all out of job they must take a long hard look in the mirror and thank themselves. You cannot fix things by breaking them.

  • chris.flack.750 - 2012-10-08 08:57

    Zuma fiddles, while South Africa burns.

      arthur.salvado - 2012-10-08 09:33

      Nothing new. He's been fiddling long before he was president. In reality , he is powerless agains the people. I ask you, what can he do? Shooting them is NOT an option. Already done and nothing achieved. Give me another workable option ?

  • Nkosinathi.Sibbs - 2012-10-08 09:19

    Disturbing scenes indeed. This is not democracy its just madness that demand tough handling.

  • johan.wilsnach - 2012-10-08 09:20

    People simply never learn. The unions are misrepresenting their members and are busy playing political games. Why did a mine close a deal without the union? Many workers are busy getting tired of the unions and its' hidden agendas. Having said that,it still does not solve the problem. Damages caused during these activities are caused by vagrants that were mobilised by whomever, to cause trouble. They all shout for more money but do not want to accept the responsibilities. Stop the number of accidents, overloading etc. Here I also blame white transport owners who are not fully law abiding thus the drivers now demand their pound of flesh. No body are sympathetic towards the unions cause. They are a nuisance, a menace and at the end will have a very negative impact on our economy, whatever is left of it. So maths is not one of their favourite subjects yet they like to think they are in control. All of them want to build this country yet I see for every one brick that is laid they are removing twenty thus we are faced with a negative growth rate. Government and unions do not mix. England taught us about that.

  • deon.meiring - 2012-10-08 10:01

    Where is the goverment? Hallooooo! Where is our leaders????

      johan.wilsnach - 2012-10-08 10:23

      Busy toi toi-ing with their comrades

  • neal.vantonder - 2012-10-08 11:01

    Just keep firing them. Maybe when they are unemployed they will become more reasonable! I can think of a few people that are perfectly willing to work for their salaries.

  • alan.davis.5249 - 2012-10-08 11:54

    How about Satawu paying out of their own coffers, what the country is loosing by making the country weaker AND poorer by forcing people to go on strikes?

  • stephan.merwe.33 - 2012-10-08 12:26

    Can someone Explain to these idiots they are only making matters worse. The falling Rand / Dollar, Fuel and Food Shortage all this will have a toll in the long run. Best of all there are hundreds if not thousands of unemployed people just begging for a job, I saw do the same as Amplats and start firing and rehiring.

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