South African port strike ends with exports having taken big hit
Transnet, a South African state-owned port operator, says that a 12-day strike that affected its freight rail and port operations has now ended.
The protest seemingly came to an end past Tuesday after the company agreed to a wage deal, CNB Africa reports.
The walkout hindered the company’s mineral and agricultural commodity exports by millions of dollars daily.
Unions had demanded wage increases above South Africa’s year-on-year inflation rate, which was almost 8% in August.
After the strike, the majority union United Transport and Allied Trade Union (UNTU) negotiated a new agreement for a 6% raise during the present year. The deal included subsequent increases of 5% and 6% in the next two financial years.
“From a legal perspective, when the majority union has signed an agreement which states that this agreement is applicable to all the bargaining unit employees, it is applicable to all bargaining unit employees,” UNTU general secretary Cobus van Vuuren told Reuters.
On the other hand, the minority union at Transnet, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), did not sign the agreement. Representatives told Reuters that they are currently consulting with their legal team to define next steps.