When is the strike scheduled to begin?

Transnet’s workers will go on strike from midnight (00H01} on May 10. Transnet is to be given a strike notice to this effect.


What are the issues?

The central issue is the basic wage. Management is offering 8% while our demand is 15%.

Other items that are still in dispute are :-

• Contract workers to be made permanent. There are currently over 5000 contract workers, largely concentrated in Transnet Capital Projects, who are employed on annually renewed contracts year after year without benefits. This has to stop. Management’s proposal to appoint only 850 of these workers is not acceptable.
• Management’s offer of extending a medical aid subsidy to additional service providers to be agreed with labour must have a timeframe of a maximum of 3 months. The subsidy must also apply if a spouse is the principal member. 
• Equal maternity benefits, whether bargaining unit or management
• Two days paternity leave 
• Lift the cap on overtime in TFR to R149,736 and in other Divisions increase it by the across the board increase
• All allowances to increase by the across the board increase
• The incentive bonus must be negotiated
• There must be a guarantee of no retrenchments for the next year
• The settlement must be backdated to 1st April 2010

Who will be affected?

50,000 employees across Transnet.  
– All rail freight services operated by Transnet Freight Rail, including the coal and iron lines. Passenger rail services will not be directly affected by this strike. (There is a separate negotiating process with PRASA which may or may not result in industrial action.)
– Shipping and materials handling at all of the country’s ports.
– Pipelines carrying fuel to the hinterland.
– Transnet Rail Engineering’s rail maintenance and manufacturing services.
– Transnet Capital and Infrastructure Projects scheduled to do important maintenance work on the Coal line.
– All administration and Security staff.
 Note : 87% of Transnet’s workforce is unionized. Non members have the legal right to participate in the strike and will be encouraged to do so.

Issues that are fuelling the dispute

– Transnet’s workers feel cheated.
– Worker morale is the lowest it has been in 40 years.
– Never before have Transnet’s workers been so united and resolute.   
– Central to their stand is their determination to have their eroded salaries brought back to 2006 levels
– No notch increase for five years in Transnet Freight Rail after the company withdrew from its 25th percentile agreement. 
– The huge salaries and incentive bonuses paid to top managers. It would take the lowest paid Transnet employee 121 years to earn the annual salary and bonus of the Acting Group CEO.
– Of the total bonuses paid last year, 51% of the amount paid out went to 4,500 managers and 49% was shared between 49,000 bargaining unit workers  
– The broken promise that Transnet’s downscaling from 200 000 to 50 000 employees would yield a smaller, more fairly remunerated workforce.

Apology to the public

We want to put on record that going on strike is not any decision to make. However circumstances have forced the unions into this position. The public and media must look to Transnet to resolve the impasse. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

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