Rail unions hand over memorandum at Parliament
By Kim Saulse and Ofentse Mokae
19 May 2010
Hundreds of frustrated workers marched to parliament yesterday to hand over a memorandum of grievances to the Minister of Transport.
Striking Satawu and Utatu members say the 8% pay increment the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has put on the table is misleading.
Government representative Mawethu Vilani accepted the memorandum and assured the masses it would be received and reviewed by Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele.
The unions say the offer actually amounts to 5% as it takes away from the employees other allowances.
Workers maintained they will halt rail services until their demand of a 16% pay increase is met.
Meanwhile negotiations in the rail strike are set to continue this morning after talks ended without agreement late last night.
Metrorail has increased its offer to striking workers to a 10 % salary increase but unions say the deal-breaker is the company’s insistence on cutting overtime.
United Transport and Allied Trade Union secretary general Chris de Vos says the union is satisfied with the new offer but refuses to budge when it comes to overtime demands. Labour originally demanded a 16-percent pay increase.
Over 2 million daily commuters have been hit by the paralysing rail strike.
The strike enters its third day today.