Taking the high road

Freight transport workers strike for better wages

Hope for better earning outcome
Freight transport workers on strike
Over 20 000 workers within the freight transport sector are currently striking for a 12% pay demand. Discussions about wages began in early June at the NBCRFLI.

According to Karen Daniels, spokeswoman for the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), parties were able to reach agreement on many issues, yet the across the board (ATB) increment, remains in dispute.

“As a consequence, the strike called by the trade unions will continue, and at this stage no further discussions between parties are planned.”

Workers rejected the Road Freight Employers' Association's (RFEA) proposal of a staggered increase of 8.5% effective as from March, and a further 0.5% from September next year.
The RFEA represents the labour interests of around 650 companies, from small operations to vast regional companies.

The Professional Transport and Allied Workers' Union SA (PTAWUSA) and the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) were in discussion about the wage talks with the Transport and Allied Workers' Union of South Africa and the Motor Transport Workers' Union (MTWU), said PTAWUSA road freight co-ordinator Puncho Ndevu.

This was because it appeared they were putting their interests before those of their members.
“We are trying to arrange a meeting with the association (RFEA) to find an agreement,” said Ndevu.

“We need to move forward and try to consider this offer which is on the table and take things from there.”

MTWU national co-ordinator Solomon Mothibedi said employers had negotiated in bad faith.
“On Friday there was something on the table which we were going to take to our members so they could decide on it,” he said.

“Then the employers went to our members behind our backs and said the strike was off.”
Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said on Wednesday that if illegal protests took place, the organisers would be charged. “It is quiet at the moment,” he said.

Satawu, a Congress of SA Trade Unions affiliate, is the biggest union in the four-union strike, with an estimated 28,000 members in the road freight sector, said spokesman Vincent Masoga.

Members ranged from drivers delivering fuel to workers associated with a truck network which travelled around the country or crossed borders into neighbouring countries for other deliveries.
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Issue 58