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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

ATDF-ASA finally registers as a union, promises robust representation for truck drivers

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Following a series of meetings and consultations with its membership, the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA) has decided to register as a labour union representing workers in the Road Freight and Logistics Industries.

The move was expected after government and the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industries (NBCRFLI) refused further engagements with the forum which is not recognised by law as representing workers.

ATDF-ASA Secretary-General Sfiso Nyathi said he expected thousands of workers in the industry to join his union as it has had massive influence even before it became a labour union.

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Nyathi said the reason his members ended up agreeing to register as a union is because all the other unions have done little to nothing in terms of representing workers in the trucking industry.

“What will make us different from existing unions is that we will focus on the Road Freight and Logistics Industry employees only, that gives us leverage when it comes to negotiations,” Nyathi said.

“We don’t fear anyone as proven in our numerous engagements with stakeholders before, so when it comes to negotiations we will make a robust representation for our members,” he added.

“We are going to shake up things, and I want to warn those who were relaxed because they have captured some parties involved in the negotiations that the party is over. The worker will take his rightful place as the most important investment in any business,

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“This thing of no basic and paying per load is over before we even start engaging, it’s unlawful. We will not watch on while workers are being exploited as other parties have been doing for years. That’s how livelihoods of employees in our sector have been degraded and employers end up opting for cheap labour.”

He promised that his union will make truck driving a preferred profession for unemployed youths.

Asked if their forum or union as it will become, has any political affiliation Nyathi said,

“Are you asking if we are already captured or not? We don’t do politics, no one controls us. We have represented workers as a forum and will carry on now as a union which has workers at heart.

On foreign workers, he said,
“anyone with papers to legally work in the country may also join the union but I doubt they will be many because there is no work permit for migrants to work as truck drivers”

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“As I am talking to you, I just parked on a lay-bye so that I can talk to you. I am a truck driver I know and feel the pain of being betrayed by those who are supposed to represent you,” Nyathi said all this on 1 April Fools Day 2022.

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