Container depot employees strike for bigger wage hike

Mkhululi Ndamase

PORT Elizabeth’s South African Container Depots (SACD) employees joined their colleagues countrywide and downed tools yesterday, demanding a 10% wage increase.

Twelve SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) workers picketed outside the regional SACD office in Deal Party yesterday. The shipping company is responsible for the import and export of goods.

Port Elizabeth Satawu shop steward Greaham Harvey said they had received an e-mail from their Johannesburg headquarters on Friday notifying them of yesterday’s action. He said while the company was willing to give them a 5% wage increase, they would not back down until they received the 10% increase they were demanding.

“We also want the company to address the issue of casuals being permanently employed.

“There are more casual workers than those who are permanent. Some of the guys have been casuals for five years now,” Harvey said.

He said they were also demanding that the wages structure be put under a microscope.

“We want them to close the gap in wages because the guys in Johannesburg are earning way more than us in Port Elizabeth or Durban, but we are doing the same job.

“In Durban they also get profit sharing and we do not in Port Elizabeth,” he said.

Harvey said they were still waiting to hear from the company’s management, but hinted they would be going to the CCMA if the company failed to meet their demands.

SACD regional operations manager Cuan Rudman said negotiations were under way at their Cape Town head office but “I don’t have any details about the negotiations”.

SACD Cape Town regional director Ross Buchanan could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the company suggested he be contacted today for comment when he was in Port Elizabeth.

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