Striking truck drivers to return to work

2011-02-22 07:08

Striking members of the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) are expected to return to work today following the acceptance of a wage deal that put an end to the week-long road freight sector strike.

“There is nothing that will stop them from going to work [today],” said Satawu spokesperson Zenzo Mahlangu.

The union had agreed to the revised offer in principle for its freight worker members on Sunday. The offer included a 9% increase across the board for this year and 8.5% for next year.

Three other unions – the Professional Transport Workers’ Union (PTWU), Transport Allied Workers’ Union of SA (Tawusa) and the Motor Transport Workers’ Union (MTWU) – accepted the pay deal on Friday.

About 65 000 truckers embarked on a go-slow on February 13 and downed tools last Monday.

The strike turned violent during the week with at least 20 trucks damaged, 16 people injured and scores of arrests as non-striking truckers were beaten and their trucks looted and burned.

Two men were also seriously injured when their truck was petrol-bombed in Durban on Thursday.

Satawu vice-president June Dube said in an SABC radio interview yesterday that the union was against any violence during their protests.

“You talk and educate them [members] during our gatherings,” she said.

“The problem is that during the strike it’s not only your members ... everyone ... non-members and whoever becomes part and parcel of the strike – so it becomes very complex.”

Mahlangu said the union would leave the probe into the violence and destruction during the strike to the police. 

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