Four truck drivers injured at protest

2011-02-14 13:06

Four striking truck drivers were injured in downtown Johannesburg today after police fired rubber bullets at them, according to SABC radio news.

An SABC journalist on the scene said some of the striking workers had assaulted a truck driver who was not taking part in the strike.
The police intervened and fired rubber bullets at the striking drivers, injuring four people.

The disgruntled road freight workers in Gauteng had gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, where they were planning to hold discussion rallies ahead of Wednesday’s strike over wages.

The president of the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), June Dube, said workers were merely gathering and would not be marching today.

Workers embarked on a go-slow at various working stations yesterday, demanding a 20% increase over two years. The Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) was offering 15%.

Dube said workers would be meeting with the employer tomorrow, which was confirmed by the association’s labour relations manager, Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht.

The union warned that the road freight industry will be brought to a standstill as about 65 000 members would be joining the strike.

The wage talks between the unions and the RFEA have deadlocked since December and the unions were issued with a strike certificate by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

In 2009, Satawu and the RFEA signed an agreement that included an 11% wage increase for all road freight industry workers across the board after workers embarked on a seven-day strike.

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