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Unions accept freight wage deal

Feb 20 2011 15:37
Johannesburg - Freight workers are expected to return to work on Monday, after a fourth union agreed to an industry wage deal, said the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry.

The four unions would now take the deal to their members, the employers and unions said in a joint statement on Sunday.

"It is expected that employees will start returning to work starting from Monday and that all employees should be back at the workplace not later than the morning of Tuesday...", said the Road Freight Employers' Association (RFEA), SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu), the Professional Transport Workers' Union (PTWU), Transport Allied Workers' Union of SA (Tawusa) and the Motor Transport Workers' Union (MTWU).

"Parties will reconstitute on Monday at midday for purposes of signing the agreement," they said.

The revised offer includes a 9% across the board for 2011 and 8.5% for the second year.

All the unions except the Cosatu-aligned Satawu accepted the offer in principle on Friday. Satawu agreed on Sunday.

In the statement, the unions said they would recommend acceptance to their members.

"We are currently meeting in different provinces. By tomorrow (Monday) everyone would have consolidated their position," said Satawu spokesperson Zenzo Mahlangu.

Tawusa said its members were particularly pleased that the use of labour brokers and consultants would be decreased, describing this as "one of the critical issues".

The union's general secretary Zack Mankge said it had urged Satawu to consider signing on Monday because "it would not be a healthy to process continue striking where we see not possible".

"We don't want this go on until it results in loss of work for members." said Mankge.

The unions were demanding a pay hike of 10% in 2011 and 10% for 2012. The RFEA initially offered 7.5% for 2011 and the same in 2012.

About 65 000 truckers embarked on a go-slow last Sunday and downed tools on Monday.

The strike turned violent during the week with at least 20 trucks damaged, 16 people injured and scores of arrests as non-striking truckers were beaten and their trucks looted and burned.

While their representatives were negotiating on the fourth day of the strike on Thursday, two men were seriously injured when their truck was petrol-bombed in Durban.
strikes  |  freight


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