Passenger trains all halted

THE negotiations to put an end to the labour dispute between Transnet, the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union and the United Transport and Allied Trade Union were expected to continue yesterday afternoon, Utatu's general secretary Chris de Vos said.

THE negotiations to put an end to the labour dispute between Transnet, the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union and the United Transport and Allied Trade Union were expected to continue yesterday afternoon, Utatu's general secretary Chris de Vos said.

Meanwhile, the transport industry was set to be hit with another strike as the unions planned industrial action against Metrorail and Shosoloza Meyl, starting today.

Transnet is responsible for the freight arm of the country's rail network, while Metrorail is responsible for passenger trains.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) spokesperson Nana Zenani said on Friday that Prasa, the parent company of Metrorail and Shosoloza Meyl, planned to halt all its operations today to safeguard its customers, employees and assets during the strike.

"Customers are further advised that Metrorail and Shosoloza Meyl will not be offering alternative transportation for the duration of the strike," said Zenani.

Satawu started its strike against Transnet - which included freight rail services, fuel and ore lines, and port services - last Monday, with Utatu joining the strike on Wednesday.

The unions demanded an increase of 15percent across the board for their members, while Transnet was only prepared to give 11percent.

The parties have been locked in a marathon meeting with the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. The meeting ended late on Friday night and was scheduled to continue yesterday.

While the strikes were not related, the same unions were in a wage negotiations dispute against Prasa. The two unions were demanding a 16percent increase across the board, while Prasa had offered 8percent. - Sapa

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