Striking airport baggage handlers are getting first hand experience of the effects of privatisation on working conditions. Workers, members of Cosatu affiliated transport union, Satawu, have now been on strike since December.
Their newly privatised employer, EAS, wants to increase hours of work from 40 to 45 hours without compensation and to take away the shift allowance of 6.75 per cent. It also wants to ban weekends off i.e. no worker to have Saturday and Sunday off in any one week; and reduce sick leave from 60 days over 3 years to 37 days.
After months of trying to settle the strike, Satawu has now declared that “the company has not shown a willingness to come to the table with real concessions… Satawu has no choice but to revert to its earlier position.”
Workers want a 8 per cent pensionable increase backdated to April 1, 2003 ; a 40 hour working week, the unconditional reinstatement of all dismissed workers, the scrapping of all unilateral changes to conditions of employment. All other issues must be put to an independently facilitated process after settlement
If you want to help the EAS workers, deposit your contribution into:
Standard Bank, Carlton Centre A/C 008788154-001 Branch Code 002305 Name of Account: Satawu Call Account
An injury to one, is an injury to all!