Organised Labour lowered its wage demand today with another 2% to 8% and gave up its demand for full paid paternity leave, in an attempt to conciliate the deadlock in Transnet wage negotiations at the Transnet Bargaining Council (TBC).
This concession was made without prejudice to allow Organised Labour to fall back to the previous position of 10% if the Employer refuses to move.
Conciliation, with the help of former seasoned Trade Unionist and former commissioner of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) Meshack Ravuku as facilitator, started today at the TBC.
The TBC sat at Esselenpark in Johannesburg to ensure that the delegates from Transnet and Organised Labour adhered to the Covid-19 protocol with proper social distancing.
Steve Harris, General Secretary of the United National Transport Union (UNTU), said that there is grave mistrust between the parties after Transnet made various announcements such as, a private strategic partnership plan and the plan to relocate the head office of Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) in the media without consulting with UNTU first.
The history of Transnet has shown that privatisation of divisions leads to job losses as it had not proven to be sustainable.
Furthermore, Transnet continues to plead financial distress while the state-owned enterprise (SOE) increased the wage bill with R65 million during the hard lockdown due to the appointment of several new executives.
Just today, Transnet advertised thirteen (13) management vacancies without considering possible suitable internal candidates first. According to Harris these actions contradicts what Transnet is saying about its current economic situation.
It is only Organised Labour making allowances to try to resolve the dispute with no progress coming forward from the employer.
The conciliation will continue at 09:00 tomorrow.
UNTU will continue to keep UNTU members abreast of any developments.