The safety and remuneration of cash-in-transit (CIT) security guards are set to take centre stage at this year’s wage negotiations at the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI).
Negotiations between the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU), three other unions and employer associations, Road Freight Association (RFA) and National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA), kicked-off late last week.
Parties to the negotiations agreed that the NBCRFLI task team established in response to the Mooi River blockades, to probe the employment of foreign nationals in the industry, would also look into issues plaguing the CIT sector.
The task team held its first meeting at the wage talks on 7 June. Delegates from the bargaining council, the Department of Transport, Department of Labour, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Cross Border department within transport attended and although Home Affairs and SA Police Service were invited, they were not able to attend.
The next meeting set for 4 July will discuss ways to improve the safety of CIT workers. Both Home Affairs and the police will be urged to attend along with all employers in the sector, the accompanying labour unions and the transport department.
Tabling their demands at the wage talks, unions insisted all CIT vehicles be manned by no less than seven employees at a time, namely:
Unions are also demanding all CIT vehicles be fitted with proper air conditioning with drivers reserving the right to refuse work on vehicles that do not meet this requirement. All employees who load cash or pre-loaded canisters into ATMs are to be classified as custodians and are to be entitled to all custodian benefits such as 13th cheque and wellness program benefits. Heavy canisters such Tribus are to be abolished.
Labour also wants a minimum wage of R7 000 for general workers including cleaners, R15 000 for Code 14 truck drivers and R20 000 for CIT guards. The minimum wage for truck drivers is geared towards discouraging employers from thinking they can exploit foreign nationals by paying them less than their South African counterparts; while the minimum wage for CIT guards is meant to compensate them for the danger they face on a daily basis as they perform their work. Unions are also looking to limit drivers who are foreign nationals to 25% within each company.
When it comes to the pay rise, unions are demanding an aggregate 35% increase across the board over three years. They will decide how it should be apportioned over the duration of the agreement.
Labour also wants a hike in allowances including a cross border allowance of R1 000 per day, subsistence allowance of R700 per day and a new allowance of R500 per day for cargo security because by virtue of transporting cargo, drivers provide security for it. Unions also want to introduce a refrigeration allowance of R500 per day for drivers who transport refrigerated cargo because ensuring the cargo is kept at the right temperature requires a special skill.
Unions also want the dual driver/ double crew practice, where the driver who is not at the steering wheel is said to be not on duty until he takes over the driving, to be completely abolished. Unions argue employers introduced this practice to ensure their trucks were on the road 24 hours a day while eliminating the need for drivers to stop and rest.
Labour also wants hours of work to be limited to nine normal working hours and six overtime hours as stipulated by the NBCRFLI. Thereafter the relevant allowances will apply. Overtime hours are to be calculated and accounted for on a daily basis and not rationalised over the week or month thus short-changing workers their due. Labour is also intent on eliminating all employer practices that lead to fatigued drivers taking on more and more hours on the road in an effort to up their earnings. Exploitative practices such as remuneration per load transported or pay per kilometre travelled not only endanger the drivers’ lives but that of all road users.
Labour also wants the night shift allowance to be increased to R40 per shift for the first year, R60 per shift for the second year and R80 per shift for the third and final year. Currently it is R32 per shift.
Other demands include R2 000 per month housing allowance; six months maternity leave at full pay as more and more women are employed as clerks and data capturers by the courier and logistics sectors; five more days added to annual leave across all categories of workers; 10 days family responsibility and for those companies who can afford to provide full medical aid for their employees to be exempt from the NBCRFLI wellness program.
For more information contact:
Tabudi Ramakgolo, SATAWU National Coordinator Road Freight, 072 572 7321
Zanele Sabela, SATAWU Media Officer
079 287 5788 / 011 403 2077/ firstname.lastname@example.org