Satawu to oppose employer in court

By Drum Digital
28 September 2012

The SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) will oppose the urgent application brought by the Road Freight Employers Association (RFEA) on Friday to deal with a violent strike by truck drivers.

"They are trying to disrupt our strike as a tactic. We are going to oppose it," said Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga.

RFEA spokeswoman Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht said in a statement on Friday the association had decided to approach the Labour Court due to the escalation in violence and intimidation experienced since the strike began.

"The RFEA deemed it appropriate to approach the Labour Court on an urgent basis for appropriate relief to address the violence experienced since the onset of the strike.

"The matter has been set down for this [Friday] afternoon," she said.

Meanwhile, talks were taking place between employers and unions to end the impasse over wages as the strike entered its fifth day.

In Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, metro police said by noon on Friday it was all quiet in both municipalities.

On Twitter, @PigSpotter posted around 10.30am: "#AVOID Voortrekker Rd Krugersdorp. Striking truck drivers burning rubbish and throwing cars with stones."

Gauteng police spokeswoman Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said she was not aware of any activity in Krugersdorp.

Mogale City metro police were not immediately available for comment.

In Pinetown near Durban, about 50 striking truck drivers set a truck on fire on Henwood Road on Friday, eThekwini metro police said.

Superintendent Eugene Msomi said the truck driver ran away when he was stopped by the strikers.

Police closed Kings Road, Glenugie Road and Sunnyside Lane as strikers gathered.

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

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

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

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.

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