The Leadership of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) today held a virtual meeting with representatives of Transnet Group to discuss the implications of the message delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the nation on 23 April 2020 and the way forward.
- Death of Transnet Employee at Pier1 in Durban
Transnet and UNTU took note of the tragic death in a freak accident of one of the employees of the Transnet Container Terminal at Pier1 in Durban during the last night. Both parties extended their sincerest condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of the employee. The parties are awaiting a report on the investigation into the accident.
- Incorrect statement on facial masks by Transnet Engineering
Transnet Group confirmed that Transnet Engineering withdrew its incorrect statement about whether employees should wear facial masks. The correct position is that all employees must always wear facial masks. Transnet Engineering corrected its circular letter to employees.
- Use of breathalyzers
UNTU received complaints from its members that some of the depots are still not using disposable straws when they are expected to blow into the Breathalyzer. This is not in line with the agreement the Union reached earlier with Transnet Group. Transnet Group confirmed that the correct method where communicated to Transnet employees to ensure that all divisions and depots comply.
- Impact of closed schools on single parents
UNTU received concerns from single parents whose jobs don’t allow them to work from home, but who does not have anyone to look after their children during the day and won’t be able to report for duty until the schools reopen for the grades of the specific children. Transnet Group is still awaiting feedback from Transnet’s Exco.
- Transnet employee’s vs partners/spouses who are healthcare workers
UNTU received concerns from members who have been sent home from work by the various nurses at the divisions where they need to report because of the associated risk they might bring to the workplace if the partner or spouse is a healthcare worker. Transnet Group is still awaiting feedback from Transnet Exco.
The local management does not agree with the practice of these nurses as they believe these employees must report for work. Transnet must discuss this with the relevant medical advisors and service providers and provide UNTU with feedback on the way forward.
- Who will report when?
UNTU and Transnet Group discussed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last night on 23 April 2020 about the facing in the workforce to prevent the spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transnet Group undertook to draft a plan and this plan will be shared with labour in the virtual meeting scheduled for the 29th of April.
- Disciplinary hearings of Transnet Employees
UNTU is concerned that some Transnet managers feel compelled to continue with disciplinary hearings during the lockdown period. The Union believes that this is to the detriment of its members as they might not be accurately represented during the hearing due to the restrictions imposed on the movement from our trade union representatives during this time. UNTU suggested that the hearing can only be conducted once the lockdown has ended to ensure proper representation. Transnet Group is still awaiting feedback from Transnet Exco.
On behalf of UNTU we assure our members that the Union will continue to take whatever action is needed to protect our members who are essential services and must work in this exceedingly difficult and trying time.
The Union will continue to keep its members updated on any developments.