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No winners in truck pay fight - chamber

Oct 02 2012 16:09

Road freight employees are continuing with their strike. Picture: Muntu Vilakazi/City Press

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Cape Town - A breakdown in pay talks between truck drivers and the road freight industry will only produce losers, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday.

"There will be no pay for workers while they are out on strike," chamber president Michael Bagraim said.

"Even if they get the increases they are demanding, the higher pay will not compensate for the loss of earnings."

He said transport companies would also be losing money while their trucks stood idle, minimising the chance they could afford to pay higher wages.

"It is a lose-lose situation... the losses will spread to other industries and their workers as the flow of goods slows down," Bagraim said.

"Factories have to close because they cannot ship out finished products or bring in new raw material supplies."

On Tuesday, striking truck drivers made their way to the transport and freight bargaining council in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, to deliver a memorandum of grievances.

The marchers, led by a large police contingent, brandished sticks and sang struggle songs.

The truckers' strike began a week ago.

Truck drivers are demanding a 12% salary increase while employers are offering 8.5% for next year, and another 0.5% the following year.

Bagraim appealed to employers and unions to sit down together and analyse the cost and effect of the strike on all parties.

"It is in everybody’s interest to make sure that the bargaining system works in an orderly manner."

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michael bagraim  |  transport strike
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