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09 Apr 2009 16:45
Violence accompanying the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) strike was condemned by the Gauteng minister of community safety, Firoz Cachalia, on Thursday.
‘While we respect the decision by Satawu to embark on an
industrial action, which is a constitutional right and provided for in the Labour Relations Act, we expect such actions to be conducted in a peaceful manner and within the confines of the law,” Cachalia said.
He added that it was never good to resort to violence and
therefore the violent actions, which appeared to be a pattern in such strikes, had to stop at once.
He had discussed the matter with the Gauteng police and urged them to act firmly and resolutely in accordance with the law to ensure that the rule of law was upheld.
‘In a democratic society we cannot allow and tolerate gratuitous violence by any section of our society,” Cachalia said.
The strike by Satawu members in the road freight industry
started on Tuesday and continued on Thursday.
Earlier, the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA)
announced that it had reached an agreement with Satawu on wage issues.
However, Satawu was now demanding that the wage agreement be extended to employees not covered by the bargaining council, such as data capturers and administration staff, RFEA spokesperson Magretia Brown said.
The strike would continue ‘indefinitely”, Brown added.
Meanwhile, Satawu denied that any agreement had been reached.
‘Satawu wishes to clarify media reports suggesting that an agreement had been reached last [Wednesday] night with the RFEA on 11% across the board.
‘We categorically state that there was no agreement reached or signed by Satawu negotiators.”—Sapa
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