Transnet workers have been on strike since Thursday.

Transnet workers have been on strike since Thursday.

  • Transnet workers aligned with the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union and United National Transport Union embarked on a strike on Thursday amid a wage dispute.
  • The company maintains that the strike is unprotected.
  • Unions have vowed to continue picketing outside the company’s premises on Monday.
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Transnet workers’ ongoing strike is unprotected, the logistics company maintained after the dismissal of its urgent court application on Friday against the process unions followed before members downed tools.

The state-owned company dismissed reports that it lost the application to have the strike declared unprotected, and said its submissions on a defective notice period, lack of secret ballot and picketing rules were not dealt with.

“The court only dealt with whether the matter of the unprotected strike was urgent. Transnet remains of the view that the strike is unprotected,” it said.

The workers embarked on the strike on Thursday after they failed to reach an agreement with the company over wages. The entity has already declared a force majeure at its ports.

Workers affiliated with the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and the United National Transport Union (UNTU) are demanding a wage hike of 12%, but Transnet is offering an increase of 3% to 4% and an ex gratia payment of R5 000 before tax.

A joint statement by the unions on Friday revealed that the strike would continue on Monday as planned.

Workers said they will gather peacefully outside Transnet premises without picketing rules as there has been no agreement on the rules between Transnet management and the unions.

Transnet’s services are critical to the functioning of the South African economy as its rail operations are used by mining companies and other manufacturers to transport resources to the harbour for export.

CEO Portia Derby said only the waterside activities of the Transnet National Ports Authority were regarded as essential services – not all operations of the firm, as News24 Business previously reported.

Transnet employs more than 50 000 people and reported a net profit of R5 billion for the past financial year, primarily owed to an accounting adjustment.

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