Drivers 'put at risk'
A SOFT drink company Amalgamated Beverage Industries has been accused of being insensitive by exposing driver owners to potentially dangerous areas where striking truck drivers could attack them.
The violent truck drivers strike is in its third week and several trucks have been burnt and drivers attacked.
An assistant truck driver died in Cape Town on Monday after striking workers hit him on the back of the head with a stone on the N2.
The attacks and the latest killing has scared the wife of an owner driver based in Ekurhuleni, who has a contract with ABI.
Most attacks on truck drivers in Gauteng happened in Ekurhuleni.
Seipati Tsolo said her appeal to ABI to suspend the delivery of soft drinks because of the violent strike had been met with threats that her husband's contract would be terminated.
"I do not want to lose my husband, and what this company is doing is to lead owner drivers to their death."
SA Transport Workers' Union spokesman Vincent Masoga said companies that kept sending truck drivers to deliver despite the strike were exposing workers to dangers associated with the strike.
"Though our members are not violent, the reality is that there are criminal elements who attack drivers who are working," he said.
The company's director of corporate affairs, Tshidi Ramogase, said ABI had a risk assessment team that monitored the environment to ensure "we are able to execute our business with minimum risk to our staff".
Ramogase insisted that most of the drivers were willing to take risks and report for work.
"The majority of our drivers have opted to continue working, including over weekends, and where required they are escorted by trained security personnel to further mitigate risk," Ramogase said.
"The consultation process with drivers is a continuous process and drivers have a choice of whether to work or not.
"Any allegations to the contrary are simply devoid of truth." - email@example.com