Union rejects new Transnet bid in South African ports strike
Talks to end the strike, set to enter its third week, are facilitated by the South African Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and an improved offer of a 6% pay rise was filed on Friday, TimesLive reported. However, the proposal did not contain a commitment not to lay off a key union demand.
Satawu said members of regional structures rejected the offer over the weekend.
“We have been mandated by our provinces. The nine provinces have rejected the CCMA commissioners’ proposal and they are also concerned that Transnet cannot commit to the non-restriction clause,” Satawu Deputy General Secretary Anele Kiet said.
Kiet said the union would step up its strike.
The position of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) on the latest offer remains unclear.
Last Tuesday, the UNTU rejected an offer from Transnet made through the CCMA for a salary increase of 4 to 5% depending on grade. The union described the offer as “ridiculous” and far removed from increases in inflation.
Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) had previously declared force majeure on its operations following the strike.
The strike affects all TPT terminals, including container terminals in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and Cape Town.
On October 11, Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) officers reported that Pier 2 at the Durban Container Terminal was “contested with minimal resources” and that waterside, landside and rail were not operational. The Pier 1 container terminal in Durban had an operating team and landside operations had been suspended.
Data from analysts Four Kites showed significant slowdowns in movements from South African ports. As of October 9, the dwell time for exports from South African ports was 7.7 days, up 108% from the start of the month.
“We anticipate that shippers will seek to hold orders imported into South Africa until the dispute is resolved, which will result in increased dwell times and a short-term impact on the costs of holding goods,” commented Glenn Koepke, Vice President of Network Collaboration at FourKites.
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