The United National Transport Union (UNTU) informed Transnet today that it will be signing the revised final wage offer for 2021 and conclude the collective agreement after an overwhelming response from the majority of the Union’s Branches to accept the offer.
Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU, says although everyone would have wanted a better increase, the reality is that Transnet has not recovered from state capture and has taken quite a financial hammering due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The ongoing pandemic also resulted in the skyrocketing of prices of goods, especially food, and petrol. South Africa’s unemployment figure has reached a new record high in the first quarter of 2021.
The alternative to not accepting this offer would be a prolonged strike that would not be in the best interest of Transnet or UNTU members.
“The leadership of UNTU must execute the mandate from most of its constituents and they are accepting the offer purely because they cannot afford to strike amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic and the devastating impact on ordinary lives.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa had to place the county on the strict Level 4 alert which prohibits gatherings to flatten the curve of new infections. Indications are the third wave will be more severe than the previous two waves. Health services in Gauteng reached its capacity and some patients had to be transferred to other provinces,” says Harris.
The summary of the final wage settlement for the 2021/2022 financial year is:
- 5% wage increase on basic salary,
- The parties agree to commence consultations on the restructuring of the business by
no later than thirty (30) days after signing of this agreement.
- Organised Labour and Transnet will engage within 30 days from
the signing of the Agreement to search for a universal affordable medical cover for all Transnet employees,
- Employees will be encouraged to take all their annual leave,
- No forced retrenchments will apply for the duration of this agreement.
The parties will sign the agreement tomorrow, 1 July 2021, at the Transnet Bargaining Council. The wage increase will be backdated to 1 April 2021.