Strike could ruin retailers

Kea Modimoeng

Kea Modimoeng

The supply of food and clothes to retailers could grind to a halt early next year if a strike by 60000 road freight industry workers goes ahead.

The looming industrial action in the national road freight industry is pending the outcome of the last dispute resolution meeting between unions and the Road Freight Association over wages and employment conditions.

The association said yesterday the meeting was most likely to take place in the third week of January next year.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and others who are part of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry declared the dispute in October.

Potential strikers include long distance drivers, loaders, general workers, vehicle guards, store men and clerks.

Tabudi Ramakgolo, national sector co-ordinator for Satawu, said: "We will now proceed to a second compulsory dispute meeting in terms of the protocol agreement. Once these meetings have taken place and still no agreement is reached the unions may issue a 48-hour notice with the aim to engage in an industrial action."

The union's proposals include a wage increase of 35 percent, maternity leave of 20 weeks with pay and job guarantee, cross border allowance of R250 and a housing subsidy of R276.94 per week.