Union vows to intensify road freight sector strike

2012-09-26 13:40

The SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has vowed to intensify the strike in the road freight transport sector in a bid to get the employers to the negotiating table.

“All parties have reached a deadlock and none of them are participating in any talks at the moment,” said spokesperson Vincent Masoga in a statement today.

“We will use this opportunity to mobilise all our members and encourage them to unite in a clear purpose of putting as much pressure as possible for the employers to revert back to the negotiations table.”

The strike over wages by more than 20 000 workers continued today with unions reverting to a 12% pay demand after rejecting a lower offer by employers.

Workers in the sector embarked on a protected strike on Monday after wage negotiations deadlocked.

Masoga said the union intended to “ignite” other strikes in the maritime and freight rail industries, in solidarity with the current strike, to ensure no goods were moved until the road freight workers’ demands were met.

National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) spokesperson Karen Daniels said in a statement today that while agreement was reached on many issues, the across-the-board increment remained in dispute.

“As a consequence, the strike called by the trade unions will continue, and at this stage no further discussions between parties are planned.”

She said employers and unions remained committed to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) process.

Masoga said Satawu remained confident that their marches would be peaceful.

Yesterday, workers rejected the Road Freight Employers’ Association’s (RFEA) proposal of a staggered increase of 8.5% effective from March, and a further 0.5% from September next year.

The RFEA represents the labour interests of around 650 companies, from small operations to vast regional companies.

It confirmed this morning that no further meetings had been scheduled.

Discussions about wages began in early June at the NBCRFLI.

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