Road freight sector strike starts

2012-09-25 11:03

Johannesburg - Over 20 000 employees of the road freight sector were on strike over their pay increase on Tuesday, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said.

"At major depots, workers have downed tools and there is picketing at factories and warehouses," said Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga.

Employees in the road freight sector - which includes truck drivers - were demanding a 12% increase. Their employers had offered 8.5%.

The strike came when wage negotiations deadlocked after protracted discussions since early June at the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), Satawu said.

Satawu, a Congress of SA Trade Unions affiliate, is the biggest union in the four-union strike, with an estimated 28 000 members in the road freight sector, said Masoga.

They ranged from drivers delivering fuel, to workers associated with a truck network which travelled around the country or crossed borders to neighbouring countries for other deliveries.

The other unions are the Transport and Allied Workers' Union, the Professional Transport and Allied Workers' Union SA and the Motor Transport Workers' Union.

The Road Freight Association, which represents employers, told its members on its website: "Although unions are consulting members on the proposal, the strike notice stands, so employees can strike..."

Masoga said the parties in the bargaining council were expected to meet at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration at 3pm on Tuesday for further negotiations.

Satawu said the unions were aiming for an inflation-related wage settlement of 12% across the board for implementation in 2013 and 2014.

They also wanted an equal increase for workers classified under the council's extended bargaining unit.

Masoga said no marches were planned for Tuesday, but that workers would gather at Beyers Naude Gardens, opposite the Johannesburg Library, for news.

Notice was given for a strike from Monday, but the effects were not immediately visible because it was a public holiday.

Comment from the NBCRFLI was not immediately available.

The Consumer Price Index for August was 5%.

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  • Don.Tandy - 2012-09-25 11:20

    Playtime for the children again!

  • ditantane.kganakga - 2012-09-25 11:29

    forward with 12%

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-09-25 11:34

      Yes and 25% retrenchment

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-09-25 13:33

      And a 12% inflation rate!

      marius.j.rensburg.3 - 2012-09-25 18:06

      yes Ditantane and an extra 12% to food deliveries! Viva!

  • Jeremy - 2012-09-25 11:35

    I don't know what their salaries are like now - but the 8,5% offered is a pretty big percentage increase. Most of us would be more than happy with that. Of course, inflation will go sky-high if these big increases get granted....

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-25 17:03

      It is not a big percentage increase when you think about it, food increases over the last three months alone have gone up by 30%, and rising. Not to mention fuel, electricity and all the rest of it. A 12% increase is a bargain in todays terms, the increase should be much more and it should be increased in accordance to the cost of living expenses that have increased since the negotiations started, and then some more added to that to ensure it covers the next few price jumps expected in South Africa. If Union continue to negotiate like they have been, soon truckers salary will be worth less than the spare wheel that their trucks carry around.....hmmmm wait just a that not where salaries stand at the present moment, .....almost.... saleries are worth a spare wheel, and one front headlight unit for trucks up to three years old...give or take....if you are one of the luckier ones. Not even worth the price of one pallet of cornflakes, transported from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-25 11:37

    12%? Really? How does that equate with 5%? Their arrhythmic is not very good or they lack comprehension.

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-09-25 11:45

    voting time is near. so cosatu will make fruitless promises.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-25 12:31

    Pay the drivers their increase and get done with it, all this shuffling around this way and that about a few percentage points, which only waddles around the ego's of negotiators. The pay of truck drivers are well below parr, in a sector that has been exploited far to long. This due to the nature of the game as most truckers are very seldom in contact with their peers, bosses and companies have always regarded them as 'soft-targets' when it comes to negotiations. The fact is that salaries and wages in respect to the inflation rate over the last decade have actually compounded to such a degree that a truck driver today earns half of what a driver earned in 1994, this is once again due to poor settlements over the years by Unions. On top of this the industry is riddled with unscrupulous labour brokers, who 'skim' the life out of drivers. The representative Unions are also compromised and very seldom if at all come to the aid of individuals who sit in their numbers every day in the CCMA, with very little bargaining ever going the way of the individual driver, When it does go the way of the drivers, it takes month and even years for cases to be completed, most are dropped because drivers, due to the nature of their profession, can't always attend hearings. The drivers demands are deserved, and I would encourage drivers to become more connected and organized via smart phones so that decent, effective negotiations can take place in future preventing annual strike actions.

      wwrer.ww - 2012-09-25 15:15

      Heck why don't we give the entire country an inflation +7% raise? Also those without jobs.

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-09-25 12:53

    what? no R12 500? I mean they work difficult jobs in dangerous conditions and and......uhm........platinum! yes! they uhm, support the mines, in......a way - well some of them - some of the the imperialists must pay!

  • jacques.shepperson - 2012-09-25 14:20

    This was started by Eishkom and the fuel price...

  • isaac.tapfumaneyi.5 - 2012-09-25 23:16

    change your countrys name to the republic of strikes violence and murders it makes sense lol

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