Port strike off…. for now

May 25, 2005
Author: P&S

Following urgent discussions concluded last night, in which the National Ports Authority and SA Port Operations moved closer to meeting union wage demands, the South African Transport & Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) announced this afternoon (Wednesday, 25 May 2005) that it was temporarily suspending next week’s port strike.

According to SATAWU the NPA and SAPO have revised their wage increase offers to within half a percent (0.5%) of union demands.

“As a result, SATAWU has temporarily withdrawn the strike action to take the offer to the membership,” said SATAWU spokesman Ronnie Mamba.

Earlier this week the union said it intended bringing 8,000 workers throughout South Africa out on a strike that “would grind the ports to a halt.”

Yesterday (Tuesday, 24 May 2005) the rail utility Spoornet averted a crippling strike when it agreed a 4.5% salary increase backdated to 1 April for all junior employees. The statement said that a further one percent (1%) had been reserved for performance related adjustments, effective from 1 October 2005 and based on job performance.

Earlier this year the four unions representing railway workers declared two disputes with Spoornet, relating to wage disagreements, overtime that should be converted into permanent jobs, and the retrenching of workers without the possibility of retraining them for more skilled positions.

The unions claimed there were shortages in various positions but said that Spoornet was continuing with a retrenchment policy involving general workers.


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