Sacci calls for action against violent truckers

2011-02-18 10:46

Police should act against those who were guilty of intimidation and violence in the transport workers’ strike, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said today.

“A number of Sacci members have confirmed that unrest, intimidation and violence has taken place nationwide. These incidents impinge on the constitutional rights of society to a safe environment,” said Sacci president Chose Choeu.

Choeu said Sacci called on the police to ensure that these constitutional rights were protected and that appropriate action be taken against the “perpetrators”.

He also commented on the fact that the employers revised their offer from 7.5% to 9%. However, the unions were “intransigent and refuse to budge” from a 10% wage demand.

“The essence of consultation is that there should be give and take by both parties and that consensus is found about halfway between the demand and the offer.”

The employers made a “sincere effort” to resolve the issue and Sacci was disappointed that labour apparently refused to make any concessions.

He said the strike had a ripple effect that damaged South Africa’s economy at both domestic and international levels.

“Sacci therefore calls on the parties to put South Africa first and to reach an accommodation that will not only benefit one group in the short term, but will ensure greater benefit for all in the longer term.”

An announcement on whether the latest offer of 9% for 2011 and 8.5% for 2012 is accepted is expected later today.

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.

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