by Udo Rypstra

Truck drivers increase their wage demands - again

Some unions have shifted the goal posts

A shift in goalposts leads to a deadlock in negotiations
Unions negotiating over truck drivers wage demands

Negotiations between transport worker unions and the Road Freight Employers Association (RFEA) remain deadlocked with some unions again having shifted the goalposts, the employer body said in a statement last night.

According to Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht, executive officer of the RFEA, talks commenced yesterday morning, with three of the four unions - the Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (TAWUSA), the Professional Transport Workers Union (PTWU) and the Motor Transport Workers Union (MTWU) - suspending their participation in the strike action.

She stated the unions spent the whole morning caucusing. In the afternoon informed the RFEA that the unions had a revised position which amounted to an increase of 19% over two years, as opposed to the 18% over two years that their leadership had indicated they would accept a week before. 

In addition, they also wanted to re-open discussions on certain items which had already been agreed to, she added.

“The RFEA is appalled that the unions returned to the table, having ‘shifted the goalposts’ yet again and increasing their demands once more. The aforementioned position of the unions, unfortunately, negated continued negotiations today. The RFEA therefore confirmed two options currently on the table to the facilitator for the unions’ consideration and adjourned.

“The RFEA cannot responsibly consider these types of demands and bad-faith bargaining any longer. No further meetings with the unions have been scheduled at this stage.”

The three unions agreed to suspend their strike action pending the outcome these negotiations and return to work today. It is not known whether they will renege on this. 


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