Cape Town - Disgruntled Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) employees have threatened to continue their legal wage strike indefinitely if their demands for a salary hike are not met by Friday.
More than 60 employees are demanding a wage increase of 15 percent, saying the cost of living was rising while their pay stayed the same. Demonstrations began on Wednesday after discussions between the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) and the TMACC management deadlocked.
Cableway managing director Wahida Parker said the union was presented with a new offer of a 10 percent increase to all staff earning under R10 000 and an eight percent increase to all staff earning more than R10 000.
The union rejected the offer and pushed ahead with the strike. Staff were lined up on Tafelberg Road - which leads to the Cableway - asking management to give in to their cries.
Saccawu union official Jan Kotze said the union had been trying to reason with management since January, coming down from a request of an increase of 20 percent, to “only 15 percent”.
Kotze said the basic salary for a worker was R3 900 while the maximum amount a worker could make was R15 000.
“Workers cannot afford to live because life is so expensive.
“Take the price of bread for instance. Petrol prices are going up, electricity is increasing and all that adds up.
“The company feels that it is better than the other employers and they have done extremely well - being inaugurated as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature - but the executives are the ones benefiting from the winnings, not the workers.”
In total, there are 120 workers on strike, leaving TMACC running at a lower capacity.
Some tourists were turned away when the strike started but police were called in to quell tensions.
Parker said: “The Cableway is operational, with many visitors at the attraction. Strategic operational changes have been implemented to limit the impact on visitors...
“We are supportive of our staff’s rights and 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.”
Some of the effects brought on by the strike includes less staff which resulted in a restriction of services and a reduction in operational time.