Transnet Engineering is going full steam ahead with plans to close some of its depots nationwide which will lead to disruption and hardship of its workers despite the promise of no retrenchments for the current financial year.
The management of Transnet Engineering disclosed its latest plan according to which more than 2 900 employees in the division are redundant to a delegation of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) during the National Business Committee (NBC) this week.
Tembile Mgqolozana, Deputy-General Secretary of UNTU, says Ralph Mills, Chief Executive of TE, is adamant that the planned restructuring of the division must be finalised in the next 12 to 24 months.
Although Transnet foresees that some of the affected employees may be redundant, it continues to advertise vacancies externally. On 2 June 2021, the External Vacancy List contained 10 Level B ,12 Level C ,2 Level F and 2 Level E positions to be filled all of them being Managerial Positions.
“This is done in contradiction with the terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) according to which an employer who realises that it has financial problems and foresees that some employees might be redundant, must place a moratorium on the filling of vacancies and only fill critically skilled position where necessary for operation requirements to try and minimise the impact.
“Although it is still early days and consultations on this proposed restructuring of TE only started now, this is truly unacceptable for a state-owned enterprise as it shows that there is no intention from Transnet to put the best interest of its loyal hardworking employees first,” says Mgqolozana.
Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU, wrote a second letter to the Management of Transnet this week to demand that these advertised vacancies should be withdrawn and the filling thereof be stopped.
Mgqolozana appealed to UNTU members at TE to remain calm while the process unfolds, and more information becomes available.
UNTU will continue to keep its members abreast of any developments.