Transnet wage negotiations deadlock

Wage negotiations between Transnet and labour unions have reached a deadlock, after no agreement was reached in the second round of talks.

The negotiations took place with the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union and the United National Transport Union on behalf of the bargaining unit employees.

Transnet says it is unable to accede to demands as a result of a decline in its operational and financial performance. It reported a decline in volumes transported last year and attributed this to the poor economic climate. It says its next step will be to schedule a conciliation process in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

Transnet Spokesperson, Ayanda Shezi, says, “Transnet believes its offer is realistic, particularly in the difficult economic climate that we find ourselves in, which has resulted in the decline of the financial and operational performance of the company.

Our priority focus is to make sure we improve our performance and we get the company back on a positive growth path and therefore sustain jobs. We will continue to address this matter in the best interest of the company.”

Public sector wage talks

The news comes as government continues to square up with public sector unions over its decision to freeze salary increases for this financial year.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) outlined their expectations for today’s meeting with government negotiators – saying another zero percent wage increase offer would be an insult to the public services sector.

Public sector unions have threatened to go on a nationwide strike if government does not revise its wage increase offer for the 2021/22 financial year.

“Our expectations is the employer must come up with a better offer than what was tabled on the 15th April where they came up with a very ridiculous offer of 0 percent cost of living adjustment, which was completely disappointing and a total insult to the public servants of this country. So we hope they will come up with something – a better offer which equals our offer, or something that is better than our offer – because we are not going to accept anything less than what we are demanding,” says PSA President, Lufuno Mulaudzi.

Government and public sector unions’ meeting has dealt with preliminary issues:

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The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has said it’s more than convinced that a war is unavoidable between organised labour and the government over this.

Yesterday, Public Administration Minister, Senzo Mchunu, urged the unions to put South Africa’s interest as they engage in the talks.

Mchunu has appealed to both parties in the negotiations to seek an outcome that will create stability.

In February, analysts predicted a major upset at the public sector wage negotiations following Finance Minister Tito Mboweni‘s announcement of a R160.2 billion reduction in the wage bill of civil servants over the next three years.

Economists said the successful talks between government and labour will be key to bring state spending under control.

Mboweni said measures to contain the wage bill have already been tabled at the Public Sector Coordinating Bargaining Council.

Source: SABC News (