Workers in South Africa on national strike

Thousands of South African transport workers went on strike on Monday at logistics group Transnet, threatening to cripple rail, fuel pipelines and port operations in Africa’s biggest economy.
south africa
The strike — the latest in a series of public protests before next month’s World Cup soccer tournament — could affect coal and iron ore exports, fuel distribution, and shipping.

Power utility Eskom said the strike, which began after wage talks broke down, would have no impact on the transport of coal used to power its plants, since only small amounts of coal were carried by rail, with the rest supplied by conveyor belts directly from mines.

Transnet does not run passenger train services.

The company said strikers at one of its units in the port city of Durban left the agreed picket area, forced their way into Transnet’s premises and assaulted and stripped naked other staff at work.

Police fired rubber bullets to restore order, Transnet said.

“Twelve people were injured and six are now in hospital,” the company said in a statement. “Transnet is pressing criminal charges against the perpetrators of violence,” Reuters reported.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said it expected all of its 20,000 members to strike.
 Chris de Vos, Utatu’s Secretary General, said the union was consulting members on the latest offer.

“Under the current circumstances, when inflation is 5.1 percent, we believe this is a good offer and we are getting good feedback from our members so far,” he told Reuters.

If Utatu’s members reject the offer, the union would join the strike by Wednesday, he said. The two unions represent 85 percent of Transnet’s workforce of about 54,000 people.

Posted via web from Street_Visuals


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