May 25, 2010
Striking SA workers call sympathy stoppagesBack
Agriculture|Aviation|Africa|CoAL|Eskom|Ports|Pumps|Road|South African Airways|Transnet|Africa|Asia|Europe|South Africa|Airline|Energy|Equipment|Logistics|Services|Steel|Transport|Iron Ore|Jacob Zuma|Jane Barrett|Power|The World Cup|World Cup
The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), which represents strikers in a pay dispute at the state-owned logistics group Transnet, said it had issued notices for sympathy actions at other transport and shipping firms.
These would start next Tuesday if the dispute with Transnet, where a strike is now in its third week, is not resolved.
The Transnet strike already is affecting ports and railways, and has held up exports of metals, cars, fruit and wine to Europe and Asia, as well as imports of vehicle parts and fuel supplies in Africa's biggest economy.
Satawu, with 39% of Transnet's 54 000 workers, wants its members, including employees of South African Airways, to join in sympathy strikes to force Transnet to up its pay offer.
It also asked workers at the country's coal export terminal to join the action, which is legal under South African laws.
"After further consultation with members it is the intention also to issue secondary strike notices on the Road Freight Association, whose members are road hauliers, as well as on aviation companies including SAA (South African Airways)," Satawu said in a statement issued late on Monday.
Soccer's World Cup starts on June 11, and the world governing body FIFA said imports of some equipment for the tournament had been affected.
Transnet said on Tuesday that with 65% of its workers back at work it managed to move all critical shipments, including World Cup cargo and jet fuel.
Fuel imports through South Africa to landlocked Botswana halved due to the strike, and its energy minister was in Mozambique to try to secure long-term alternative fuel supply routes through Maputo, government officials said.
Some Metrorail commuter train coaches were set alight on Tuesday, but no injuries were reported. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks on Metrorail, which faces a parallel national strike by Satawu over a pay dispute.
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said each two weeks of the strike could cost the economy about R7-billion or 0,2% of its gross domestic product.
"Supply chains are being severely disrupted and in many cases export contracts have been permanently lost. Retrenchments may now also be looming," the industry body said in a statement.
A union representing about half of the workers at state-owned power utility Eskom said it also plans to stage a strike starting on Wednesday over a pay dispute.
This could disrupt electricity supplies and embarrass President Jacob Zuma's government before the World Cup.
Civil servants, including police and teachers, rejected a pay offer and may also consider striking. Residents in an informal settlement protested on Monday demanding better services.
Members of the bigger union at Transnet, the United Transport and Allied Trade Union, resumed work on Monday after accepting a pay rise of 11%, and the logistics group said the backlog could take a month to clear.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the fruit industry alone had lost more than 1 billion rand due to the strike.
The South African unit of carmaker BMW cancelled a shift on Monday due to lack of parts and other carmakers warned they could do the same.
Global miners with operations in South Africa, including Anglo American Plc, Xstrata and the world's top steelmaker ArcelorMittal declared force majeure on the supply of iron ore, ferrochrome and steel.
Transnet declared force majeure on coal destined for export.
So far, coal exports to power plants in Europe and Asia have continued thanks to stocks at the ports, and fuel supplies to petrol pumps in the country are also as yet unaffected.
Edited by: ReutersComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Labour and Skills Development News
Updated 7 hours ago A former employee of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) and his accomplice have each been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after being found guilty of fraud by the Specialised Commercial Court, in...
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...