JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union said on Wednesday they would resume the last round of wage negotiations with Bidvest Group subsidiary BidAir Services this week, in which they are demanding a 15 percent increase across the board.

Numsa and TOWU also want the company, which provides passenger handling, ramp handling, load control and cleaning services to international and domestic airlines at major South African airports, to adjust the salaries of workers earning less than R10,000 per month with an additional R3,500 increase.

They say the lowest paid workers, baggage handlers, currently earn R4,200.

"We are proposing a two-year agreement. In the first year we propose an 11 percent increase and 10 percent increase for the second year for those earning above R10,000," they said in a statement, also demanding a R150 shift allowance, a guaranteed 13th cheque for all employees and a transport allowance.

In turn, BidAir has offered a three-year wage agreement, with six percent annual increases in the first two years, and a  6.5 percent rise in the third. It has also agreed to a 13th cheque for workers.

"Our demands are realistic. BidAir has made a fortune in recent years and its senior executives earn huge salaries with generous perks," the unions said.

"No one can raise their family in dignity on a low salary of R4,200 per month. Our members do not receive transport allowance and they work awkward hours."

- African News Agency (ANA)