Sat Oct 22 18:32:16 CAT 2016

Elation as strike ends - truckers back to work today

By unknown | Apr 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi and Nawhal Kara

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi and Nawhal Kara

Thousands of truck drivers cheered as their leaders announced yesterday that the strike was over.

Satawu president Eugene Dube told a packed Beyers Naudè Square that an agreement with employers had been reached to resolve the strike.

"We have achieved what we have been fighting for. We have achieved the R6000 minimum wage for long distance drivers. We have also achieved the R3000 for the general workers," he said.

The following is a breakdown of an agreement which has brought an end to the eight-day strike:

lMinimum wages - there will be an increase across all levels over a period of two years, starting in 2009, setting new minimum payments for the industry.

l  An across the board increase - also incremental over two years, at 11 and 9,5percent respectively;

l Maternity leave - a payment of 33percent of the normal basic wage during maternity leave and full compliance with the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

lAn increase in subsistence, cross-border, night shift and sugar cane allowances.

Dube said: "I must emphasise that this agreement is for two years. After that new negotiations will begin."

Satawu wanted a 13percent increase and four months' paid maternity leave with job guarantee on return to work.

It also demanded that general workers' minimum salary be increased from R2000 to R3000. The Road Freight Employers' Association (RFEA) was offering increases of between 10,5 percent and 11 percent.

RFEA spokesperson Magretia Brown said: "A sense of relief is felt at the end of any strike, particularly when it is marked by violence and intimidation."

Dube said their members will return to work today.


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