Expatica news

28,000 South Africa truck drivers on strike: union

South Africa truck drivers and other transport workers launched a strike for higher wages Tuesday, a union spokesman said, amid concerns that the standstill could cause fuel shortages.

“Today is the first day of the official strike,” said the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) spokesman Vincent Masoga.

“We represent over 28,000 members…,” he told AFP, adding, all of them would be “downing tools.”

Masoga said truckers were seeking a 12-percent increase for 2013 and 2014, but would not settle for less than nine.

He would not confirm local media reports that employers had offered nine percent.

Workers would decide on the new wage offer on Tuesday, said Masoga.

“They are striking but they are also going to be giving us the feedback of the offer today (Tuesday).”

Meanwhile the country’s petroleum industry association made emergency fuel supply plans “to ensure the areas that are affected can still be managed to supply,” spokesman Avhapfani Tshifularo told radio’s Eyewitness News.

South Africa has been hit by a wave of strikes in recent weeks, including a miners strike that left 46 dead amid violent confrontations with police.