URGENT MEDIA ALERT: Ex-Transnet workers demand to be reinstated!
On Wednesday, 7 June 2017, Hundreds of ex-Transnet Rehabilitation, Maintenance and Emergency (RME) and Transnet National Ports Authority employees will be marching to the Transnet Head Office to demand to be reinstated.
Right2Know KZN will be marching in solidarity with the ex-Transnet workers in their struggle as they demand information to protect their rights and win basic reforms in the workplace.
Members of the media are invited to cover the march, details are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, 07 June 2017
Venue: From Durban City Hall to Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Point, Durban
- We demand to be reinstated
- We demand a back pay
- We demand to be employed on a permanent basis, no contract/end of outsourcing
- Recognition of year service
- Compensation of the deceased
- Review of retirement
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
- Equal work, pay and treatment
Rehabilitation, maintenance and emergency services (RME) Transnet workers have worked between 10 -25 years on an annual contract basis on various train lines around KZN with their depot in Umbilo, repairing and maintaining train tracks.
In 2014 the employer, Transnet introduced a new system whereby new and existing posts were created and potential employees had to apply for the advertised posts. This side-lined the existing employees who felt they should’ve been absorbed into the company permanently since they had gained immense experience over the years.
The workers sought assistance in the matter from their unions South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and United National Transport Union (UNTU) to no vail and have concluded that the unions are colluding with the employer, for not upholding their mandate as defenders of workers’ demands.
Since then, the employees have undertaken protest action to seek clarity on the new system and they have rejected the system. The employer has shown no interest in resolving the matter and subsequently about 500 workers are left unemployed by the new system.
In addition, TNPA also employees of Transnet have had grievances since 2011 about extremely long shifts hours. In 2015 employees in negotiations with management initiated their fairly working shifts which led to them being issued with final warning letters.
The struggle for fair working hours has been an uphill battle where they resorted to creating their own shift times to allow adequate rest and optimise production, this was met with anger by the employer as they were all served written warnings and ultimately and unfairly dismissed from work.
On 22 May 2015, 27 employees were dismissed by the employer for their just and noble struggle against unfair working shifts. These workers continue with their struggle to the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and Labour Court, unfortunately this reconciliation has not been able to yield any good results that satisfy the workers. Despite the employer willingness to negotiate with the employees both unions refused to negotiate for the workers. The matter will soon go court and an outside union has agreed to assist these workers.