Vehicles damaged during truck drivers’ strike

Police fired rubber bullets at striking truck drivers and 10 trucks were damaged in downtown Johannesburg on Monday, said metro police.

“The trucks’ windows were smashed and the drivers were forced to join the march,” said metro police spokesperson 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 labour action.

No arrests had been made yet.

Disgruntled Gauteng road freight workers gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown on Monday for discussion rallies ahead of strike action over wages on Tuesday.

Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (Tawusa) general secretary Zack Mankge said workers began striking on Monday and that workers from other unions would join the strike on Tuesday.

“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 that the strike would be “peaceful”.
“The unions will meet with the employer on Tuesday.”

Standstill

South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) president June Dube told the South African Press Association that 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 on Sunday, demanding a 20% increase over two years. The Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) was offering 15%.

The wage talks between the unions and 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 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. — Sapa

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