STRIKERS ARRESTED

At least 17 people were arrested after protesting truck drivers allegedly stoned and intimidated non-protesting colleagues, KwaZulu-Natal police said .

At least 17 people were arrested after protesting truck drivers allegedly stoned and intimidated non-protesting colleagues, KwaZulu-Natal police said .

Inspector Solomon Mbhele yesterday said the protesters were arrested in Pinetown, outside Durban, on Tuesday for public violence and malicious damage to property.

The protest turned violent when the crowd stoned trucks and attempted to disrupt traffic.

Mbhele said the police had also received reports of protesters intimidating non-striking truck drivers.

"We had to use force to disperse the crowd," he said, adding that no serious injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, wage negotiations between truck drivers and their employers continued yesterday, said Magretia Brown, pictured, of the Road Freight Employers Association.

"We will begin talks again today [yesterday] at 9am," Brown said.

Negotiations ended without agreement on Tuesday, the first day of the strike by about 20000 drivers, which could see petrol stations run dry.

"I suppose the fact that we're still talking is a positive thing," she said.

Members of the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union are demanding a 13 percent pay hike and four months' paid maternity leave with a job guarantee on return to work.

Employers increased their 10,5percent offer to 11percent, but reverted to the initial amount when talks failed. - Sapa

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