Truck drivers’ strike to expand to port workers – Satawu

2012-10-08 06:56

A strike by truck drivers is set to spread to rail and port workers this week, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has said.

Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga said the union had applied at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for permission to expand the strike to ports and railways.

Masoga said the union would continue to negotiate with employers, with the next meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Satawu has been asking for a 12% wage increase but was prepared to negotiate a compromise if the employers, including the Road Freight Employers’ Association, were willing to also compromise.

“We’re prepared to even take 10% but the guys are not budging at all,” Masoga said.

The unions involved in the truck drivers’ strike said action continued on Saturday but they were hopeful an agreement would be reached during negotiations this week.

“We are positive that we might find a solution because there is a lot at stake,” the Motor Transport Workers’ Union’s (MTWU) Dirk White said.

“This strike is not about political play – people can lose their jobs.”

The unions involved are Satawu, the Professional Transport and Allied Workers’ Union SA (PTAWU), the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA and MTWU.

Masoga said the strike was continuing and they had received a notice of negotiations.
“We will always be hopeful,” he said.

“More importantly, we are hopeful that the employers will play ball this time around.”

PTAWU’s Pancho Ndevu agreed with the other unions and said they will remain hopeful for the workers.

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