South Africa Port Staff Union Agrees to Pay Deal, End Strike

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Source: Bloomberg

South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail operator reached a three-year wage deal with its biggest labor union, with its members agreeing to immediately call off a strike that caused a costly slowdown of exports of minerals and other goods.

Transnet SOC Ltd.’s offer to pay workers raises of as much as 6% and improve housing and medical benefits was accepted by the United National Transport Union, which represents 24,992 workers, or 54%, of those who were party to the wage talks.

The union started the industrial action on Oct. 6 and other groups later joined in, slowing some port and rail operations and bringing others to a standstill. The impasse with the other unions remains ongoing, although the accord will apply to their members.

“The company’s priority in the immediate is clearing any backlogs across the port and rail system -- prioritizing urgent and time-sensitive cargo -- and implementing recovery plans, working with industry and customers,” Transnet said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Backdated Increases

The agreement, which was negotiated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, will run from April 1 this year until the end of March 2025, and the increases will be backdated, it said.



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