Transport industry loses billions!!

In an overnight meeting on Thursday, the RFA and unions signed an undertaking that they agree to a three-year industry wage agreement, which is expected to be signed at approximately 10:00 today. This will end the strike with immediate effect.

Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht, labour relations manager of the Road Freight Association (RFA), estimates that employees in this industry are losing in the region of R270 million in wages per week during the strike, with around R1,2 billion in turnover being lost on the part of industry per week!

This week, in an effort to bring the ongoing truckers’ strike to an end, three of the four unions involved went into talks on Tuesday morning (October 9).

Representatives from the Transport Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (Tawusa), the Professional Transport Workers’ Union (PTWU) and the Motor Transport Workers’ Union (MTWU) spent the entire morning behind locked doors. The meeting was facilitated by the CCMA, and attended by officials from the Department of Labour.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) was informed that the unions had a revised stance: a wage increase of 19 percent over two years, compared to the 18 percent over two years union leadership had indicated it would accept a week ago. The RFEA offered 17 percent.

The unions also wanted to re-open discussions on issues that had been previously resolved – but the RFEA, “appalled” that the unions had returned to negotiations with shifted goals, said it could not responsibly consider this type of bad-faith bargaining. The unions’ revised stance put an end to talks on Tuesday.

The three unions suspended their participation in the strike, with their members returning to work. Members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) remained on strike.

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