25 September 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions pledges its full support for the members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), and other unions in the transport and logistics industry, who went on strike today.
They are demanding an inflation-related wage increase for truck drivers of 12% across the board for implementation in 2013 and 2014 respectively, and an equal increase for workers classified under the council’s extended bargaining unit of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry.
The unions been trying to negotiate a settlement but talks reached a deadlock at the Council where the employers were only willing to table a 1% increase on their original offer of 6% across the board in all the bargaining units. When the unions rejected this they moved back to their original offer of 6%.
We share SATAWU’s repugnance at the tactics by some of the employers to spread lies and confusion to members alleging that the strike has been averted and thus to try to divide the workers, a tactic which, the union warns, “will only backfire at them and create a protracted industrial action that may result in dire undesired consequences”.
Truck drivers work for long and unsocial hours, battle with difficult road conditions, require a high degree of skill and are an essential cog in the wheels of our economy. Yet they are rewarded with pitifully low wages. COSATU calls upon the employers to return as soon as possible to the negotiation table with an improved offer, failing which the federation will continue to give support and solidarity to the strikers.