Taxi industry has ‘no plans’ to strike

2011-07-21 07:04

There are no plans for the taxi industry to embark on a strike, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) has said.

“Santaco wishes to assure taxi commuters that taxis will continue to strive to provide their service to the commuting public in the midst of the present increasing petrol supply constraints,” said spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa in a statement.

Yesterday, he said that the fuel shortage was impacting on the taxi industry in two ways: taxi drivers had to travel off their normal business routes to find garages that had petrol.

This increased the cost of operations, cutting into profits; and secondly, the additional time it took to find fuel and deviations from normal routes meant the operations would not run as smoothly.

Despite this, he said that a taxi strike would lack “entrepreneurial sense or justification”.

“Taxi drivers have persevered the strains of this service’s inconvenience and have gone [the] extra mile to ensure that commuters travel to their various destinations.”

Last Monday, 70 000 members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu), the Allied Workers Union, and the General Industries Workers Union of SA downed tools.

They were demanding a minimum salary of R6 000 a month and a 40-hour working week.

On Monday employers met with the unions, making an offer of a 10% increase for workers at the lowest level, raising their minimum wage from R4 000 to R4 400.

Other levels were offered 8%.

Solidarity joined the strike on Monday, and resolved yesterday to return to work.

The head of collective bargaining for Ceppwawu, Clement Chitja, said the union was likely to receive feedback from its members as to whether the employers’ offer had been accepted by Thursday afternoon.

Fuel Retailers Association chief executive Reggie Sibiya said fuel shortages had already reached critical levels particularly in Gauteng townships and central business districts.

KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo were also experiencing shortages.

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