SA ports gear up for strikes over pay | Fin24
 
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SA ports gear up for strikes over pay

May 29 2019 12:16
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

The Transnet National Ports Authority has warned of upcoming strike action at ports countrywide, which may begin on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement on Wednesday the authority said the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has placed it on notice for a strike over salary discrepancies. 

The authority manages SA's eight commercial ports. 

The union previously said it has received a strike certificate and was planning a "total shutdown of the country’s ports". Union spokesperson, Zanele Sabela, said Satawu members were planning to stop work due to salary discrepancies between black and white mariners.

" [...] White mariners draw higher salaries than their black counterparts, even when they have less experience," said the union in a media release. 

Sabela told Fin24 that the union suggested a third party be brought in to investigate the wage gap, but that TNPA did not follow through on this.

"There are salary discrepancy and they are racially informed. There are margins as much R500,000 per year in terms of the gap between black and white mariners. They admitted that these discrepancies existed. We sat down to negotiate but couldn't agree," said Sabela.

Transnet, meanwhile, said it expects Satawu members that serve as marine pilots, tug masters and chief marine engineering officers to go on strike. 

TNPA acting chief executive, Nozipho Mdawe, said in a statement that the authority has systems in place to ensure that operations continue. 

"We have assessed the impact of the strike action and have activated contingency measures though our Business Continuity Plans. We will continuously update our customers and directly engage with them on shipping matters to ensure minimum disruption to port operations," said Mdawe.

Transnet spokesperson Nompumelelo Kunene could not immediately be reached for comment on the strike.

transnet  |  tnpa  |  satawu  |  ports  |  strike
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