Freight unions to announce decision on offer

2011-02-18 08:53

The four striking freight unions would announce their decision on a revised wage offer at a press briefing in Boksburg today, the Professional Transport Workers’ Union (PTWU) said today.

“We strongly believe that our members will agree with this offer,” said PTWU general secretary Reckson Baloyi.

He said the offer currently on the table by the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) was a 9% increase across the board for 2011 and 8.5% for the second year.

An achievement by the unions in the industry was the employer agreeing to an extended bargaining unit, Baloyi said.

For the past 10 years, supervisors and controllers, including administration, were not included when unions negotiated.

“Another thing the members are happy about is the 13th cheque they will receive at the end of December.”

These revised terms to the wage agreement were added yesterday, Baloyi said.

The PTWU was still consulting with its members throughout the country, but Baloyi believed they would be happy about the offer.

The unions – the PTWU, SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union and the Motor Transport Workers’ Union – initially demanded a 10% pay rise for 2011 and 10% for 2012.

They were also negotiating on decreasing the use of labour brokers and consultants in the industry.

The RFEA had initially offered 7.5% for 2011 and again in 2012.

And while representatives were negotiating yesterday, two men were seriously injured when their truck was petrol bombed in Durban as the fourth day of the strike drew to a close.

“Both men, the truck driver and conductor, sustained burns to their heads and were taken to hospital for treatment,” said ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks.

About 65 000 workers were participating in the industrial action that began with a go-slow on Sunday and a downing of tools on Monday.

Incidents of intimidation have been reported throughout the week with non-striking truckers beaten and their trucks looted and burned.

More than 20 trucks have been damaged, 16 people injured and 32 arrested.

The N3TC, which manages toll concession, said truck traffic dropped by 40% in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, when the strike was in full swing.

N3TC spokesman Con Ruen told Business Report that 4 900 trucks passed through the Mooi River toll plaza in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday last week – before the strike – compared with only 2 900 trucks passing the same toll plaza during the strike on Monday this week.

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