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Truck strike talks to resume on Friday

Satawu and the RFEA will resume wage talks in a bid to end the violence.

A truck was set alight on the M2 in Germiston on 27 September 2012, allegedly by striking satawu members. Picture: iWitness.

JOHANNESBURG - Ekurhuleni police on Thursday said they are trying to establish whether 45 people arrested for public violence are members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu).

The suspects were detained after they were caught throwing rocks and bricks off a bridge and onto the N12 highway earlier in the day.

The men were taken into police custody and will appear in court soon.

Earlier, Satawu denied that its members were responsible for attacks on non-striking truck drivers.

On Tuesday, thousands of workers affiliated to union embarked on industrial action to demand better wages.

On Thursday morning, several trucks were damaged by unruly workers on the N12.

The striking truckers caused at least one accident involving a truck and several cars.

Another four incidents of violence, some of which were seen by Eyewitness News, left 14 people injured on Thursday afternoon.

In Kempton Park, another group of protesters blocked off the R21 highway.

As the striking workers made their way to the nearby train station, another truck driver's vehicle was damaged.

The suspects fled from police on trains to Germiston.

NEGOTIATIONS SET TO CONTINUE

Wage negotiations between Satawu and the Road Freight Employers' Association (RFEA) will continue on Friday in a bid to end the three-day violence.

On Wednesday, unions rejected RFEA's staggered 9 percent offer, resulting in a two-day deadlock.

Meanwhile, Satawu has accused companies affiliated to the RFEA of using underhanded tactics in an attempt to end the industrial action.

Union officials say individual companies have been approaching them with new offers, outside of the bargaining processes.

Satawu's Chris Nkosi says the offer is a sign that the freight industry is under pressure.

He said the union received offers of around 16 percent, a figure higher than the 12 percent asked by workers.

"It is not going to fly because we want the wage offers to be across the board for all our members."

On Thursday, shop stewards from various companies in Gauteng met in Germiston and resolved to continue with the strike until wage demands are met.