Fuel strike enters day seven

A strike in the road freight industry, which has seen at least 300 petrol stations run dry in the past week, continues on Tuesday.

“The strike continues. We’ve had overwhelming support from our members, between 80% and 90% are participating,” said South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) general secretary Randall Howard.

Talks between Satawu and the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) will continue on Tuesday in attempts to solve a wage dispute, he added.

“There is a meeting planned. Certainly, we are interested in talking,” Howard told Sapa.

The South African Fuel Retailers Association on Monday said 300 petrol stations across the country had run dry with retailers in townships most affected.

“The [Easter] weekend was a plateau in terms of delivery but commercial customers are coming back ...
Everybody is going back to work and this is going to increase demand,” chief executive Reggie Sibiya said.

“The longer the fuel strike takes, the backlog will also increase. If we hadn’t had this [long weekend] relief, we may already have been in a crisis,” Sibiya said.

An estimated 20 000 truck drivers are taking part in the strike that started last Tuesday.

Satawu’s demands include a 13% pay hike and four months’ paid maternity leave with a job guarantee on return to work.

The RFEA has offered salary increases of between 10,5% and 11%.—Sapa

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