; Labour unions warn of looming road freight industry strike – The Citizen

Labour unions warn of looming road freight industry strike

One of about 32 trucks that have been damaged at Mooi River Toll Plaza on the N3, 28 April 2018. Picture: FleetWatch magazine

One of about 32 trucks that have been damaged at Mooi River Toll Plaza on the N3, 28 April 2018. Picture: FleetWatch magazine

Wage talks that started on 4 June have reached a deadlock, among others about raising the minimum wage for CIT guards to R20 000.

Unions in the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) today warned of a strike after wage negotiations deadlocked.

According to a statement issued by South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), labour unions have declared a dispute after marathon wage negotiations did not produce an agreement.

“South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), Motor Transport Workers’ Union (MTWU), Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (Tawusa) and Professional Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (PTAWU), have declared a dispute after marathon wage negotiations did not produce an agreement,” Satawu said.

“Wage negotiations between unions and employer associations Road Freight Association (RFA) and National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA) started on June 4, but to date, parties have not reached a settlement despite sittings carrying on till the early hours of the morning.”

The four labour unions who represent more than 30 percent of the 105 000 workers in the industry are demanding an accumulative 32 percent across the board wage increase over three years while employers are offering only 18 percent.

Satawu said unions want the minimum wage for cash-in-transit officers to be raised to R20 000 per month to compensate for the danger they face on a daily basis. Following several protests by truck drivers that saw the N3 and N4 blockaded, unions have proposed minimum wage for Code 14 truck drivers be increased to R15 000 to discourage employers thinking they can exploit foreign nationals by paying them less than their South African counterparts. Unions are also demanding a R7 000 minimum wage for general workers. Employers have refused to raise minimum wages.

Unions are also looking to limit the employment of foreign nationals to 25 percent within each company, but employers contend this is a matter for parliament to look into.

“Taking into account the spike in cash-in-transit heists in the first half of this year, unions are demanding that each vehicle be manned by at least three people to ensure the safety of both the cash being transported and the officers. Unions have also appealed to companies to provide officers with adequate artillery so they can protect themselves from heavily armed robbers. Labour also wants government to regulate the manufacturing of cash-in-transit vehicles so that safety features are standardised across the industry,” said the union.

“Parties now await the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to notify them of the dates during which wage talks will continue under its auspices. Should these negotiations not produce a settlement, the CCMA will issue a certificate allowing unions to embark on industrial action.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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