Transnet ‘playing with fate of workers’

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ABOUT 9000 Transnet workers could lose their jobs, about half of them from the Transnet Engineering division,Picture: Kopano Tlape GCIS

ABOUT 9000 Transnet workers could lose their jobs, about half of them from the Transnet Engineering division, United National Transport Union (Untu) general secretary Steve Harris said.

He said the state-owned logistics company was playing a game of “cat and mouse” with the fate of thousands, especially those working in the engineering division. Harris said he questioned Transnet general manager Tumelo Mokwena’s reasoning in a statement last week that a moratorium placed on the filling of non-critical vacancies in the company last year was “only an interim measure”.

“This does not make sense as Transnet has stated its intention to reduce its wage bill by R4bn within the next three years,” Harris said. Transnet said last year it would offer thousands of employees a voluntary severance package (financial incentive to employees to encourage them to resign or retire) to streamline its business and ensure the group’s long-term sustainability.

Transnet granted 446 such packages to Transnet Bargaining Council employees who are now protected against forced retrenchment by the terms of the agreement between Transnet and the union until the end of March. “It seems that Transnet’s left hand does not know what its right hand is doing. Transnet must come clean about the fate of employees and stop indulging in political power play. Untu demands answers,” Harris said.

Transnet Engineering CEO Thamsanqa Jiyane told Parliament last week the economic downturn had a dramatic impact on Transnet’s wagon procurement programme and ripple effects on local component manufacturers.

Also read: Transnet’s new locomotive steams in

Transnet revenue rises to R65.5bn

Transnet adds intake to training 

-NONHLANHLA MASEKO|business@thenewage.co.za

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