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Satawu 'shocked' over Prasa forcing staff to take annual leave during lockdown

Eyewitness News has seen a communique to the company’s employees, which indicates that some workers must take annual leave for the lockdown period from 17 until 30 April.

FILE: A view inside the Prasa repair depot on 28 May 2018, where trains are fixed, renovated and parts are shipped off for off-site repairs. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said it was shocked that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) was forcing its employees to take annual leave during the lockdown.

Eyewitness News has seen a communique to the company’s employees, which indicates that some workers must take annual leave for the lockdown period from 17 until 30 April.

Satawu said the move would take R1 billion of annual leave from junior employees within the bargaining unit.

The union’s Lubabalo Tinzi said: "Satawu is in a state of shock with the attitude that has been adopted by Prasa executives at the expense that there has been intensive engagement on how best we can manage the issue of leave."

He said that Satawu had always been against the conversion of employees' special leave to annual leave.

"We received a call from Prasa saying they wanted to force employees to take their annual leave. We opposed this and there were a number of questions that remained unanswered so that we are able to consolidate our view or at some point, reach some kind of consensus on a way forward."