Metrorail unaffected by Transnet strike

The planned strike by the South African Trade and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) against Transnet is set to go ahead on Monday, but will not affect Gauteng Metrorail services, a union spokesperson said.

“There will be a Satawu strike that will go ahead against Transnet but that will not involve Metrorail,” said Jane Barrett.

“Metrorail is not owned by Transnet. They have a separate management and a separate negotiation process entirely,” she said.

“There is a dispute with Metrorail but it’s not at the point of serving a strike action.”

Satawu members are striking against Transnet in a wage dispute. The union was demanding a 15% wage increase for their members across the board.

Transnet initially offered 8% but have now raised their offer to 11% after talks with the union soured.

The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu), who originally said they would join Satawu in the strike, called off their involvement on Saturday after hearing of the offer increase.

“As a responsible union we have decided to suspend the strike for two days and ask our members to consider the offer,” said Utatu general secretary Steve Harris.

The Utatu management would meet on Tuesday to discuss the response of their 22 000 membership of Transnet employees.

Satawu rejected the offer increase by Transnet, claiming it was insufficient and misleading.

“Satawu is of the view that the offer on the table is insufficient,” Barrett said.

“The take it or leave it offer put on the table by Transnet is misleading because even though it looks like they’ve upped it by three percent, the actual cost increase to the workers income is not three percent.”

Barrett said Transnet was borrowing from employee’s housing allowances and medical aids to make the offer increase.

“They are just taking from one pocket and putting into another,” she said. — Sapa

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