Transnet announces three-year deal with key union after brutal strike

17th October 2022 By: News24Wire

Transnet announces three-year deal with key union after brutal strike

Photo by: Creamer Media

Transnet announced on Monday that it had reached an agreement with the United National Transport Union (UNTU) for a three-year wage deal.

UNTU represents 54% of unionised employees at Transnet.

The deal will apply retrospectively from the first of April this year to the end of March 2025. The announced agreement includes a 6% increase in year one, a 5.5% increase in year two, and a 6% increase in year three.

The deal comes after a weeks-long strike at Transnet rocked operations at ports and disrupted exports and imports. 

A Transnet statement said the deal with UNTU, the majority union, has the effect of ending the industrial action.

"Transnet and the company's majority union UNTU reached a three-year wage agreement today, applicable for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025, in a process mediated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA). This ends the current industrial action by UNTU members with immediate effect," the statement said.

Transnet said it would now shift its attention towards clearing backlogs that occurred across the port and rail system during the industrial action.

"The agreement, which applies to all bargaining unit employees including those who are not members of UNTU, is effective from 1 April 2022, and will be implemented from 1 October 2022," the statement said.

The statement said the deal would also include an increase in the medical aid subsidy from 1 October and an increase in the housing allowance commencing from the year 2023/24 and 2024/25.

"The back-pay for the period 1 April to 30 September 2022 will be paid in two tranches – three months’ back-pay on 15 November 2022, and three months' back-pay on 16 January 2023," the statement said.

UNTU could not be immediately reached for comment.

Approached for comment, spokesperson for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) Amanda Ntombela said the union had not seen Transnet's statement and could not speak to its contents. Satawu has rejected Transnet's most recent offer.

"As a union, we are focused on advancing our members' interests. We have not seen a statement by Transnet," said Ntombela.