South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) calls on government to arrest the ongoing chaos in the trucking industry and put an end to the unnecessary loss of life.
Dozens of trucks have been attacked and torched mostly on the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal in the last year. Some industry players estimate the number of people killed in these attacks to be as high as 213.
Given the ongoing attacks, SATAWU is worried that government is giving an ear to illegitimate truck owner associations – the Positive Freight Solution Forum. The association is on record for saying South Africans do not possess the required skills to drive their trucks thereby justifying the employment undocumented foreign nationals.
South African legislation is clear a company cannot employ a foreign national unless he/she possesses a scarce skill. Possessing a code 14 driver’s license, however, is hardly a scarce skill.
We call on the Department of Labour as the custodian of the Labour Relations Act to monitor employers and bring those who do not comply with the law to book. The actions of non-compliant truck-owner associations such as the Positive Freight Solution Forum provoke employees in the industry since the majority are unemployed.
SATAWU vehemently condemns the burning of trucks and the loss of innocent lives that results. Sadly, compliant employers are not spared.
We are extremely worried that government in the form of Department of Labour, Home Affairs and SA Police Service enter into talks with an illegitimate association while excluding registered trade unions and employers that are party to the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry.
As a union representing the majority of workers in the sector we call upon the association that alleges to be representing truck drivers to register with the bargaining council so as to voice out concerns to a legitimate platform and by so doing embolden the fight against the capitalist agenda that seeks to divide workers.
SATAWU is worried about these indiscriminate acts of criminality where vehicles are burnt and calls on authorities to speed investigations and apprehend the culprits.
Should government not heed our call and intervene, we will be forced to call upon all employer associations nationally to stop operations and cease movement of all goods until government takes effective action.
For more details and media interviews contact:
Zanele Sabela, 011 403 2077, Zanele@satawu.org.za