15 February 2011

South Africa: SATAWU, RFA to Meet Over Wage Dispute

Pretoria — The SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) will today be meeting with the Road Freight Association (RFA) in a bid to resolve the wage dispute which has resulted in truck drivers embarking on a nationwide strike.

The strike entered its second day today. The union is demanding a 20 percent increase over a period of two years and the RFA is offering 15 percent.

Satawu General Secretary Zenzo Mahlangu told BuaNews that even though they will be meeting with the RFA representatives, the strike will continue. "However, the outcomes of the meeting will determine if the strike continues or not," he said.

Mahlangu denied incidences of violence by Satawu members, following reports of intimidation in Johannesburg. "We do not encourage violence," he said.

Police have warned that they will not tolerate violence and that they will monitor the situation.

Satawu warned yesterday that the road freight industry would be brought to a standstill as about 65 000 union members were expected to join the strike.

The other unions supporting the strike are the Motor Transport Workers' Union and the Professional Transport Workers' Union.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town has warned residents that the strike would interrupt refuse collection in Atlantis, Bloekombos, Blouberg, Brown's Farm, Crossroads, Delft, Mfuleni, Gordon's Bay, Khayelitsha North, Mamre, Philippi, Pinelands, Samora Machel, Strand and Wallacedene

Residents in these areas are requested to leave their wheelie bins on the kerbside on Tuesday morning, until collected. Staff will be doing additional collection rounds to ensure that residents' refuse is removed as soon as possible.

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