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Labour unions declare wage dispute at S.Africa’s Transnet

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CAPE TOWN, April 22 (Reuters) – Two unions declared a dispute with South Africa’s Transnet on Thursday after wage talks broke down, and warned of possible strike action if the state-owned freight logistics firm failed to present a better offer.

The United National Transport Union (UNTU) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) baulked at Transnet’s offer of a 3% wage hike – a figure they described in a joint statement as “so bad that organised labour can’t even present it to their constituents to obtain a revised mandate.”

Transnet, which operates major ports and a huge railway network that transports minerals and other commodities for export, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Under South Africa’s labour relations laws, such disputes are referred to arbitration. If that fails to secure a deal, unions are permitted to ballot members for strike action. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; editing by Mfuneko Toyana and John Stonestreet)

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