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Truck strike: 3 unions down, 1 to go

Only truck drivers affiliated to Satawu are continuing with their strike for better wages.

Truck drivers embarked on a strike on 24 October, demanding a salary increase of 12 percent, a strike laced with violence. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Hopes of ending the truck drivers' strike have increased, as three out of the four unions involved say they have adjusted their wage demandsafter taking the economy into account.

The Motor Transport Workers' Union (MTWU), the Professional Transport and Allied Workers' Union (PTAWU) and the Transport and Allied Workers' Union of South Africa (TAWUSA) on Wednesday said they were ready to sign a two-year agreement which would see them receiving a 10 percent increase in the first year, and an eight percent increase in the second.

But the largest of the unions, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), said its strike would continue.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), which represents two of the unions which have agreed to the deal, said they would submit a fresh mandate to employers soon.

PTAWU officials said it was still worried about sending their members back to work, for fear of being attacked by Satawu members still on strike.

Fedusa's spokesperson Dennis George said they wanted to also encourage Satawu to abandon its strike action because they felt the offer was favourable to workers.

It is already five percent above inflation.

It is unclear when talks between Satawu and the Road Freight Employers Association (RFEA) will resume.

Meanwhile, violence continues to mar the strike action, with reports of truck-driver intimidation and the torching of trucks flaring up.