'Workers losing out on their income'

STRIKING Trans-net workers are beginning to lose more money than they would gain if their salary demands were met, economists said yesterday.

STRIKING Trans-net workers are beginning to lose more money than they would gain if their salary demands were met, economists said yesterday.

"It is stupid to strike for longer than a week," said Dawie Roodt, chief economist at Efficient Group.

Members of Satawu started a strike against Transnet last Monday, and Utatu joined the mass action on Wednesday.

The unions had rejected an 11percent wage increase offer by Transnet, originally demanding 15percent and then lowering their demand to 12percent.

Roodt said with any strike going on for longer than a week, workers were starting to shoot themselves in the foot.

"If the guys strike for two weeks, they are losing wages amounting to 4percent."

Economist Mike Schussler agreed, saying it was a simple calculation. With 52 weeks in a year, employees earned 2percent of their salary a week.

"They do lose out on income. Every week it's 2percent of their income ... but they may make some of it up with overtime," Schussler said.

Both economists said it was difficult to put a price on the two strikes Satawu and Utatu were involved in against Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

The Prasa strike, which saw the shut-down of Metrorail and Shosholoza Meyl services, started on Monday. - Sapa

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