No success in trucker pay talks
Fin24 - Oct 10th 2012, 09:24
Johannesburg - Negotiations to end a two-week labour dispute between most truckers and employers ended without an agreement on Tuesday.
"[The] bosses walked away," said SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) spokesperson Vincent Masoga.
On Tuesday morning, the Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Tawusa), the Professional Transport Workers' Union (PTAWU) and the Motor Transport Workers' Union (MTWU) said they would suspend their strike activities while wage negotiations continued.
Satawu has vowed to carry on striking until a settlement is reached.
Road Freight Employers' Association (RFEA) spokesperson Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht blamed the unions for the failure to reach a settlement, and accused them of having "shifted the goalposts" by changing their demands.
She said the unions had demanded an increase of 19%, divided between two years, after indicating they would accept 18% last week.
"In addition, they also wanted to re-open discussions on certain items which have already been agreed to," Brown-Engelbrecht said.
"The RFEA cannot responsibly consider these types of demands and bad-faith bargaining any longer."
No further meetings between employers and unions are presently scheduled.
Tawusa, PTAWU and MTWU, which together represent 15 000 of the striking truckers, and Satawu, which represents 28 000 workers, embarked on a strike on September 24.
The strike has left several trucks destroyed, people injured and, as of Tuesday morning, at least one fatality.
The unions said they wanted a 12% increase, but Satawu said they are willing to settle for 10%.
The RFEA said it offered a double-digit increase last week, but that Satawu rejected it and said it amounted to only nine percent.
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