Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 May 2010 – The transport strike has entered its third week after the South African Transport & Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) rejected a revised pay offer from state-owned logistics group Transnet Limited, extending the pay dispute that has held up metal and other exports for the past two weeks.
The workers want a 13% pay rise, yet are open to negotiation, Satawu president Ezrom Mabyana, told reporters here. Transnet has offered an 11% increase, plus other benefits.
“We don’t make any apology for an above-inflation increase,” union chief negotiator Jane Barrett told reporters here. “The poor experience inflation at a higher rate. We are looking for a real improvement.”
Negotiations are expected to continue today.
The biggest union at Transnet “’ the United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) “’ signed a new wage deal with the company on Friday. “Utatu has signed,” Transnet spokesman John Dludlu told Reuters.
The strike, which started on May 10, has cost Africa’s biggest economy billions of rand, according to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Shippers who avoided the country’s ports say there will be a “lengthy recovery period.”
“The top priority now is to clear the backlogs built up during the strike,” Transnet acting CEO Chris Wells said in the statement.