Transnet workers’ strike intensifies
By Ofentse Mokae
17 May 2010
The Transnet workers’ strike intensified this week with Metrorail also affected.
Today thousands of Metrorail commuters were left stranded as all Metrorail operations brought to a halt.
In a joint statement yesterday Satawu and Utatu admitted that no resolution have borne with the employer during the negotiations over pay dispute that lasted until late last night.
“Management effectively walked away from any negotiated settlement tonight after stating an unwillingness to budge on any item of money substance,” the statement said.
Amongst a host of other issues unions are demanding 15% across the board salary increment, having settled for lesser increase of 13% the employer however repotedly stands by 11%, which the unions have rejected.
In another development workers are marching from Newtown to Prasa’s offices in Braamfontein.
In the Mother City the march got off to a slow start as strikers were ironically delayed by a lack of public transport.
The unions say while another meeting at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration is scheduled for this afternoon, they are disappointed that Prasa is at this stage sticking to its eight-percent wage offer.
Utatu's Steve Harris says they were really looking forward to some form of agreement over the weekend.
In light of the strike, the Western Cape provincial government, City of Cape Town, business and the key role players in public transport have put together a transport strategy to ensure everyone gets to their destination during the rail strike.
Meanwhile Parliament’s chairwoman on the portfolio committee on Public Enterprises Vetyjie Mentor, has called on all parties in the Transnet wage dispute to speedily find a solution.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY