SAfrica transport strike drags on, no deal reached

* Strike drags on into sixth day

* Wage negotiations to resume on Sunday

JOHANNESBURG, May 15 (BestGrowthStock) – Talks between striking
South African transport workers and logistics group Transnet
[TRAN.UL] have failed to reach agreement on a pay deal,
prolonging action that is hitting the economy hard.

Negotiations ended at midnight on Friday without a deal but
will resume on Sunday, said Jane Barrett of the South African
Transport and Allied Workers Union.

She refused to disclose any details of the discussions
between Transnet, Satawu and Utatu, another transport union,
saying they were “very sensitive and difficult”.

Now in its sixth day, the strike has paralysed South
Africa’s port and rail operations and hit exports of metals,
fruit and wine to Europe and Asia after nearly two-thirds of
Transnet’s 54,000-strong workforce downed tools.

It is the latest protest in the country ahead of next
month’s soccer World Cup, which is being held in Africa for the
first time. There were concerns that the strike could impact
imports of equipment for the soccer event starting next month.

The unions want a 15 percent pay rise, above the 11 percent
offered by Transnet, fuelling criticism among analysts and the
central bank who say a pay rise well above the 5.1 inflation
rate would slow South Africa’s economic recovery.

Anglo American Plc’s (AAL.L: ) iron ore unit in South Africa
has declared a force majeure on shipments, joining other global
metal exporters such as Xstrata (XTA.L: ), which said it could not
supply ferrochrome to its customers. [ID:nLDE64B2B7]

The unions said 60 percent of Transnet’s port, rail and fuel
operations were disrupted, with no import goods being offloaded.

Investing Research

(Reporting by Ed Cropley; Editing by Jon Boyle)

SAfrica transport strike drags on, no deal reached