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Transport strike talks break down

Satawu “’ one of the
two unions driving the
national transport strike
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 May 2010 – State-owned transport company and logistics group Transnet Limited’s largest trade unions “’ the United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) “’ said in a statement this morning that talks with the ports and railroads company have broken down.

Reuters reports that Jane Barrett of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union refused to disclose any details of the discussions, saying they had been "very sensitive and difficult".

The breakdown in talks as the national transport strike enters its second week is prolonging action that is hitting the economy hard. The strike has paralysed South Africa’s port and rail operations and hit exports of metals, fruit and wine to Europe and Asia, after nearly two-thirds of Transnet’s 54 000-strong workforce downed tools.

It is the latest protest in the country ahead of next month’s soccer World Cup, which is being held in Africa for the first time.

The unions want a 15% pay rise and Transnet has offered 11%, fuelling criticism among analysts and the central bank, who say a pay rise well above the 5.1%  inflation rate would slow South Africa’s economic recovery.