STRIKING truck workers marched in Johannesburg on Monday as a costly strike entered its second week.
With no settlement in sight, union leaders are adamant the industrial action will intensify.
"We must keep up the fight for economic freedom. We must not let the fight die. People must be with us. They must not work and side with the employer," a leader said.
Workers were demanding a 12% pay hike. The employer body the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) offered 6%. Talks ended in a stalemate after the weekend but they would resume on Wednesday, the RFEA said.
It said in a statement that as much as it wished to resolve this dispute, it also had to be cautious not to agree to an increase that was not sustainable.
"We are very aware that the strike has an effect, not only on our members and the industry, but also on the South African public and economy as a whole," the statement said.
Workers were allowed to march in the Johannesburg CBD on Monday.
The strike has seen incidents of violence in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, with many trucks having been burned. Striking workers have also caused accidents on highways by throwing rocks at cars. The public has been encouraged to sue the four unions involved in the strike.
The biggest union is the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu). The union has claimed that the violent workers are criminals and not Satawu members.
Meanwhile, fuel, medical and food supplies are under pressure with contingency measures, such as temporary labourers and reserve fleets, being used nationwide.
The South African Petroleum Industry Association warned the public to refrain from panic buying, saying it could handle demand for the week if buying patterns remained normal.
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