The SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) said its members unanimously rejected the 6% wage increase offer put forward by the Commission of Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
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NO END TO TRANSNET STRIKE IN SIGHT
The CCMA made the settlement recommendation to both parties after the recognised unions SATAWU and the United National Transport Union (UNTU) rejected Transnet’s last offer of 4.5% in the current year and 5.3% in the next two years on Wednesday.
SATAWU General Secretary, Jack Mazibuko, wrote to the Transnet Bargaining Council and said the union appreciated the CCMA’s efforts and intervention but stated that union members rejected the proposed increase for three reasons.
Firstly, the across-the-board increases are below inflation. “Our members feel that accepting anything below inflation will be to the detriment of their livelihoods. They will accept anything above inflation,” said Mazibuko.
Secondly, the proposal does not contain a “no-retrenchment clause” which has been present in salary negotiations with Transnet in the past.
Thirdly, if an agreement is reached the union wants back pay to be paid once-off. However, its members are also willing to accept payment in two phases at the end of November 2022 and January 2023.
SATAWU also wants the “no work, no pay” principle to work in the same way and wants lost wages to be deducted from salaries in instalments to allow members to meet their financial obligations.
“We strongly believe that our demands are justifiable and have the potential to break the current deadlock.
“The union is willing to compromise with the employer to ensure that productive activities recommence without delay,” said Mazibuko.
According to News24 Business, Transnet employs 40 000 people, which makes up 66% of its cost base.
The ongoing strike is entering its second week and according to estimates, the economy is losing up to R1 billion per day.
As previously reported, the unions are demanding an increase in line with the consumer price index and want an increase of at least 7.6%. Their initial demand was for a wage increase between 12% and 13.5%.
Transnet’s first offer was 1.5% then 3% and its final offer was 4.5%. The state-owned company has not released a statement on its position on the CCMA’s 6% offer.
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