Ten trucks damaged during strike

2011-02-14 14:38

Police opened fire on striking truck drivers and 10 trucks were damaged in downtown Johannesburg, metro police said today.

“The trucks’ windows were smashed and the drivers were forced to join the march,” said metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

“We advise that truck drivers avoid downtown Johannesburg because things are violent there,” he said.

Four striking truck drivers were injured when police fired rubber bullets at them after they allegedly assaulted a truck driver who was not taking part in the strike.

No arrests had been made.

Disgruntled Gauteng road freight workers gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown today for discussion rallies ahead of strike action over wages tomorrow.

Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA (Tawusa) general secretary Zack Mankge said workers began striking today and workers from other unions would join the strike tomorrow.

“We are marching down Rissik Street to De Korte Street to hand over a memorandum of demands to the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight Industry,” he said.

Mankge said Tawusa was “not aware of any violence” and the strike would be “peaceful”.

“The unions will meet with the employer on Tuesday.”

SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) president June Dube said the road freight industry would be brought to a standstill as about 65 000 members would join the strike.

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%.

The wage talks between the unions and the RFEA deadlocked in December.

The unions have been 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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