Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 May 2010 – South African transport workers’ unions on strike at logistics group Transnet have revealed that a mediator is to try to help resolve the four-day-old pay dispute that has crippled national rail and port operations.
The transport strike widened yesterday after a second union joined the stoppage “’ the latest public protest ahead of next month’s soccer World Cup tournament, being held in South Africa.
The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) together represent 85% of Transnet’s workforce of 54 000 people.
Utatu said it would stick to its 15% pay rise demand when talks reopen, as opposed to the 11% offered by Transnet.
“We will meet Transnet management and the commissioner tomorrow, and this could be the start to resolving the issue,” Utatu general secretary Chris de Vos told Reuters.
De Vos said Utatu and Satawu would meet the mediator today, and both unions would meet Transnet and the mediator from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration tomorrow. Transnet said it was willing to discuss alternative options other than a further wage raise in order to end the strike.
London-listed global miner Xstrata and Samancor “’ the world’s 2nd-biggest ferrochrome producer “’ have declared a force majeure, halting shipment of ferrochrome, a key ingredient in stainless steel, and chrome ore.
Anglo American Plc’s Kumba Iron Ore Limited admits it’s been “quite severely” affected, and
ArcelorMittal South Africa “’ the country’s largest steel producer “’ says deliveries of iron ore and coking coal to its mills have been “dramatically” affected by the strike.