Strike violence: employers approach court

2012-09-28 10:11

The Road Freight Employers Association (RFEA) has approached the Labour Court with an urgent application to request relief from strike violence.

The relief was in terms of violence experienced since Tuesday, said spokesperson Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht in a voice message.

The application is being made as employers and unions in the freight logistics industry were meeting on Friday in an attempt to end the strike, which has entered its fifth day.

The RFEA said on a twitter feed dedicated to the strike today: “#RFEA committed to talks today in attempt to resolve dispute.

“#RFEA However approached Labour Court on urgent basis seeking relief against violence emanating from strike. Matter set down for [Friday] afternoon.”

The strike began on Monday after employers and unions failed to reach an agreement on wages.

Unions reverted to a 12% pay demand after rejecting a lower offer tabled by employers on Tuesday.

The RFEA had proposed a staggered increase of 8.5% effective from March, and a further 0.5% from September next year.

The South African office of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) came out in support of the road freight strike.

“The workers’ demand for a 12% wage increase is a very moderate demand given the low wages they are paid for their living.

Their demands must be satisfied,” the WFTU said in a statement.

“WFTU places the responsibility of resolving the transport labour dispute on the shoulders of the bosses, as they have unnecessarily protracted the negotiations.”

The unions involved are Satawu, the Professional Transport and Allied Workers’ Union SA, the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA, and the Motor Transport Workers’ Union.

The SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said it has put contingency plans in place to maintain the supply of fuel, and hoped for a speedy resolution to the strike.

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