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Truck drivers continue striking

Truck drivers are set to continue their strike demanding a 12 percent wage increase.

Trucks. Picture: Truckssa.

JOHANNESBURG - As truck drivers are set to continue their strike on Wednesday, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) which represents them said the Lonmin wage dispute has become a yardstick for how wage negotiations should be handled.

Some 20,000 drivers abandoned their cabs on Monday, and will stay away from work until wage negotiations are finalised.

Yesterday, the strikers and their unions rejected an offer of an 8.5 percent increase over two years.

Satawu general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu on Tuesday said violence in Marikana over a wage dispute had imprinted on wage negotiations in South Africa permanently.

He said unions will now have to be "more aggressive" to ensure workers do not take matters into their own hands.

Mahlangu added that union members were not interested in leaders who were too involved in politics.

During a strike by Lonmin employees in the North West's Marikana township last month, employees decided to abandon their unions and represent themselves in wage negotiations.

They argued union leaders did not have their best interests in mind.

Their five-week strike ended last week, with workers agreeing to salary increases between 11 and 22 percent.

Satawu has promised its workers a higher wage offer, with the bidding on their side starting at 12 percent.

Mahlangu said union members will have to continue striking to get their demands.

If the strike continues, it could affect deliveries of goods such as fuel and money for ATMs nationwide.