Truck drivers could be striking today

The RFA calls on members to prepare for strike action

Strike follows deadlock in wage negotiations
RFA calls members to prepare for strike action
The Road Freight Association (RFA) has called on its members- who include those who serve food, fuel and mining industry  -  to prepare for strike action following a deadlock in wage negotiations with unions earlier this month. Negotiations are said to be continuing, but a strike notice has been issued effective from September 24 – yesterday, a public holiday.
Wage negotiations between the Road Freight Employers Association(RFEA)  and the four transport unions have been  deadlocked  since earlier this month  with the unions wanting a 9% increase but the RFEA offering  7% only.
The unions involved are the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), the Motor Transport Workers Union (MTWU), the Professional Transport and Allied Workers Union (PTWU) and the Transport and Allied Workers Union (Tawu). They are parties to the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI).
In addition to its 7% increase, there has been  a proposal from the RFEA to increase existing allowances by 6.5%, and an increase to extended bargaining unit (EBU) categories at 6.5%. 
The RFA has told its members to be prepared for the strike and familiarise themselves with the necessary legislation especially in the light of the first day of the strike being a public holiday.
“Legislation determines normal payment to employees if they do not work on a public holiday, provided that the employee would ordinarily have worked on such a day if it was not a public holiday. It thus follows that with a strike notice having been issued, the employee would not have worked on this day if it was not a public holiday since the employee would have been on strike. As such the employee who participates in the strike should not be paid for the day at all since the principle of no-work-no-pay applies.”
The principle of no-work-no-pay will be applied for duration of the strike. 
The RFA is expected to set up a strike call centre in the next few days.
Road freight operations were expected to come to a standstill yesterday. Satawu expected 80% of the sector’s 120 000 employees to down tools.
Prolonged strike action could affect petrol supplies across the country as well as the transportation of food and mining ore because many of the union members are long-distance truck drivers.
 “There is currently a recommended offer by the employers that we are considering, but we hope to check with our membership…. We are going to contact our members tomorrow morning,” the Satawu’s Vincent Masoga told AFP. 
Masoga said truckers are seeking a 12% increase for 2013 and 2014.
He refused to say how much the employers’ association is offering, but local broadcaster Talk 702 put the figure at 8%. 

The Road Freight Association of transport employers was not immediately available for comment. A strike could disrupt retail and fuel supply chains in the country, which was swept by violent strikes in its crucial mining sector in recent weeks. – Additional reporting by Sapa-AFP
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