Truck drivers to march in city Thursday

2011-02-16 00:00

STRIKING freight workers plan to hold their second march in the province in Pietermaritzburg tomorrow. The march will start from Freedom Square and end at the Department of Labour’s offices in Boshoff Street.

The first march of the striking members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) took place in Durban yesterday. It went without any violence. This while a protest march by Satawu members was marred by several violent incidents in Johannesburg.

Satawu’s Pietermaritzburg chairperson Themba “Chief” Dlamini said the strikers in Durban marched from Curries Fountain Stadium along Dr Pixley Seme (West) Street to the City Hall.

He told The Witness on Monday evening that he was expecting about 1 000 Pietermaritzburg-based truck drivers to participate in the Durban march. He said workers handed the memorandum to the Department of Labour’s bargaining council.

However, police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said only about 450 drivers gathered and marched in Durban between 10 am and 3.30 pm.

“We worked very well with the police and there was no provocation,” said Dlamini. Naicker confirmed that the Durban march went peacefully.

In Johannesburg Satawu members allegedly damaged more than 10 trucks to intimidate non-striking drivers whom they encountered while marching through the city centre.

The drivers demand a 25% increase on minimum wages and 20% increase on other wages. They are also demanding the end of labour brokers.

They are saying that their employers should refrain from using consultants during disciplinary hearings, and they also called for fewer whites dominating the freight industry.

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