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Another S.A. Union Ends Transnet Strike

FILE - Transnet workers protest as a labour strike continues at an entrance to the harbour in Durban, South Africa. Taken Oct. 17, 2022

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) has called off its strike at Transnet, the state-owned enterprise (SOE) running the rails and ports.

The reversal comes after SATAWU had called a three-year wage hike agreed on by Transnet and the majority United National Transport Union (UNTU) a "betrayal."

"We have called off the strike and our members are going back to work tomorrow," SATAWU spokesperson Amanda Tshemese told Reuters on Wednesday.

The unions walked out on October 6 demanding wage increases linked to South Africa's year-on-year inflation rate, which was 7.5% in September.

But UNTU and Transnet settled on a 6% increase for this year, followed by another 5.5% in 2023 and 6% the year after.

SATAWU had pushed for a bigger hike, first demanded at 8%.

Fresh produce exporters who, along with miners, were among the most affected by the strike, said port operations had started to improve on Wednesday.

The labor action had a notable impact on several important South African business sectors. The nation's Minerals Council said mining companies were losing 815 million rand ($44.62 million) per day in export revenue due to the strike, as major mineral export harbors were operating at between 12% and 30% of their daily averages.