Satawu to probe Ekurhuleni strike

Sep 27 2012 12:44

Johannesburg - Transport labour union Satawu sent a delegation to Ekurhuleni on Thursday to investigate problems being caused by striking truck drivers.

"We are investigating the situation and we are sending a delegation to see what is happening there," said SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) spokesperson Vincent Masoga.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng said three people were injured on Thursday morning in protests by striking truck drivers, east of Johannesburg.

"There were calls coming in that a light delivery vehicle was burned, and truckers stoned two trucks on the R21 to Pretoria," he said.

The R21 north to Pretoria, opposite OR Tambo International Airport, was closed to traffic.

"The R24 is affected going east and, if you are on the R21 going towards Pretoria, it is affected up to Griffiths Road offramp," said Mokheseng.

"We are diverting traffic from the East Rand Mall heading to Pretoria and... directing it on to the Griffiths Road offramp."

Traffic on the R24 was being redirected from Barbara Road.

"No arrests have been made. Police are dealing with the situation as it is happening," Mokheseng said.

Professional Transport and Allied Workers' Union SA (PTAWUSA) road freight co-ordinator Puncho Ndevu said he was unsure whether PTAWUSA members were involved in the strike action.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said no problems were reported in Johannesburg.

"At this point there is nothing I can report."

About 20 000 workers in the road freight transport sector have been on strike over wages since Monday.

Unions have reverted to a 12% pay demand after rejecting a lower offer tabled by employers on Tuesday.

The Road Freight Employers' Association (RFEA) had proposed a staggered increase of 8.5% effective from March, and a further 0.5% from September next year.

Masoga said: "We are hoping the employers will come back today (Thursday), otherwise we will continue the strike."

Ndevu said the situation remained unchanged, with unions in discussions among themselves regarding the next step forward.

RFEA spokesperson Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht said: "We have committed ourselves to being available for further talks. Nothing has been forthcoming thus far and we shall see where we go."

The RFEA was hopeful that between Thursday and Friday, the negotiation process would resume, she said.

The unions involved are Satawu, PTAWUSA, the Transport and Allied Workers' Union of SA, and the Motor Transport Workers' Union.

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satawu  |  transport strike  |  wage disputes



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