South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), the largest organised labour representative in the transport sector, said on Monday it did not support the threatened shutdown by truck drivers slated for the end of the month.
Satawu said the little-known trucking group, which last week called for the shutdown, was not a registered workers’ representative organisation.
The strike is supported by the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA).
Satawu head of communications Amanda Tshemese said, “We are not part of the so- called shutdown. We know nothing about it and our members and workers will be working… Our workers will be working on the day, as it’s a normal work day.”
Satawu also called on law enforcement to work with them on the day to ensure that their members were not attacked on the roads.
The “SA truck drivers” group is calling for the removal of labour brokers; a salary of R25 000 a month; and no employment of foreigners, among other demands, in a note circulated on social media.
Truck drivers earn an estimated R17 000 a month, with wages and other conditions of employment negotiated by parties at the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry.
The Truckers Association of SA president Mary Phadi said on Friday that the ATDF-ASA was behind the planned national shutdown. “They confirmed there will be a strike,” Phadi said.
The Road Freight Association (RFA) said all truck companies had to comply with the collective agreement negotiated between representatives of unions and employers at the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry.
RFA CEO Gavin Kelly said, “Shutdowns create long-term negative consequences for the logistics supply chain and the economy. Jobs are lost. Revenue – both to companies and employees – is lost…
“Tax revenue is lost and business confidence is lost. International trade and investment is lost. Inevitably, opportunistic criminality and violence occur,” Kelly said.