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Transnet adheres to our demand on recruitment

The United National Transport Union (UNTU) welcomes Transnet’s decision to adhere to the majority Trade Union’s demand and to place a moratorium on external recruitments with immediate effect.

Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU, says the moratorium is the only way to ensure that Transnet fulfils its obligation, in terms of the Labour Relations Act, to take preventative steps to minimize any possible job losses. “Transnet wants to save R4 billion on its wage bill over the next three years. This means there could be forced retrenchments at Transnet if the dire global economic situation does not drastically change. Currently the terms of a collective agreement on wages prevents Transnet from offering its employees forced retrenchments. This agreement terminates 31 March next year.

“As a Union, we will do everything within our means to prevent job losses. Instead of recruiting new employees, Transnet must take steps to re-skill affected employees for vacancies,” says Harris. In a circular letter sent out today, Transnet stated that the current persistent economic challenge obligates the company to intervene, to lessen the impact on its employees. All recruitment, inclusive of fixed-term contract employees, is stopped- but limited deviations may be allowed only for safety critical feeder grades, priority and scarce skills.
This comes after Harris pointed out non-critical vacancies that were being advertised externally by Siyabonga Gama, Group Chief Executive of Transnet, last week.

“UNTU fully understands that it is within the company’s right and obligation to advertise vacancies if there are scarce skills in Transnet. However, the Union disagrees that the vacancies that were advertised last week, only consisted of scares skills.

“UNTU is committed to assist Transnet to ensure that the company remains successful to the benefit of our members. Having said that, it does not make sense to offer Voluntary Severance Package (VSP) and at the same time continue to fill vacancies that are not critical or scarce, “says Harris.