Cape Town - Visitors will still be able to head up Table Mountain in the cable car on Wednesday, despite workers at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) going on strike over wage increases and conditions of employment.
The SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) has warned there would be conflict if scab labour was brought in to run operations, but management has said they would make sure any disruptions were limited.
There were still last-minute negotiations taking place on Tuesday in an effort to resolve the issues, but should the strike go ahead on Wednesday (Sep 28), it will be the first one in the Cableway’s 87-year-old history.
Saccawu’s John Kotze said they had asked members to exercise maximum discipline.
“But if scab labour comes in that is when the trouble starts.”
Kotze said most of TMACC staff were unionised, so they intended on embarking on a “full blown, indefinite strike”.
The union is calling for a 15 percent across the board increase while the company is offering nine percent.
Wahida Parker, managing director at TMACC, said their initial offer to the union was a tiered offer of between seven percent and 10 percent favouring lower earners.
“We have indicated our willingness to negotiate on the tiered approach, but this has been rejected.
“We will continue to explore ways to resolve this impasse and do everything in our power to contain any tensions that may arise out of this wage dispute.”
Kotze said they wanted all staff to be paid in the same way.
“There are salaried staff and those on flexi hours.
“Those on flexi hours are not paid their full salaries when the mountain is closed because of weather.
“The fight is actually about getting one type of group for all employees - so everyone is salaried.:
The union said it would be holding talks with Cosatu affiliates at SANParks to solicit solidarity action.
Parker said although cableway operations would continue, some services would be restricted.
She said with the season about to start, they had employed seasonal staff and some staff members had already accepted their proposal so would be at work.
The kiosk and exit shop at the Lower Station and the cafe and shop at the Top Station will remain operational, but the Top Station kiosk, Visitors Centre and wi-fi lounge will be closed during the strike.
l Visitors can go to www.tablemountain.net for updates or contact Cableway Reception on 021 424 0015.
There will be updates on facebook.com/TableMountainCa and @TableMountainCa on Twitter.