A delivery truck that was set alight allegedly by striking truck drivers in Kempton Park in Johannesburg. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko.

Workers lost R271 million in wages during the three-week-long transport sector strike that ended on Friday.

The chairman of the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA), Penwell Lunga, said: “Workers lost R271m in wages while employers suffered a R1.2 billion loss a week.”

The strike was marred by violence, with delivery vehicles looted and set alight, one driver killed and several others injured.

SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu said his union was wrongly blamed for the violence. “There were three other unions on strike as well, but we hear Satawu being blamed for the violence. Employers know we never burnt a single truck.”

The deal reached was staggered over three years, with a 10 percent wage rise in the first year, 8 percent in the second, and 9 percent in the third. The first wage increase would be implemented on March 1, 2013.

The four unions and the RFEA on Friday distanced themselves from an agreement purportedly reached in the cash in transit chamber of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) on September 28.

They said: “None of the parties to the NBCRFLI mandated any of its members to conclude an agreement outside the formal process.”

Meanwhile, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union in North West on Friday embarked on three days of action against corruption and for a backdated wage settlement, said the national spokesman, Tahir Sema.

It seems that the first municipal one-day strike in support of these demands undertaken by Limpopo two Fridays ago has borne fruit.

Sema said that the SA Local Government Association had called for a meeting with the union in Limpopo to discuss the demands it had put on the table. – Wiseman Khuzwayo and Sapa