NBCRFLI threatens to halt trucks if government doesn't reign on lawless ATDF-ASA

The National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) and Parties to the Council say they will not be bullied by the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA) who are trying to bulldoze themselves into labour matters without any legal mandate to do so.

NBCRFLI National Secretary Musa Ndlovu, in a media statement, said the council was perturbed by the shutdown and protest marches that took place at their offices last week as the organisers were interdicted from doing so by a Court Order which is still effective and binding.

Ndlovu complained that no appropriate notices giving permission to protest were issued to the Council and questioned the legality of the march and the police’s failure to enforce the Court Order.

“The Council and leaders of the Parties to Council refuse to be bullied and held at ransom and to be used as scapegoats of these attacks by associations that are not legally registered to represent employees and who want to operate outside the ambit of the South African Employment Law”

Ndlovu called on all relevant government ministers and the President of the Republic, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa to take decisive action against these groups.

“ATDF-ASA previously confirmed to the Minister of Employment and Labour that they represent unemployed truck drivers in South Africa as opposed to the Road Freight and Logistics Industry employees. Furthermore, ATDF-ASA is not registered as a trade union in terms of applicable laws and as such cannot make any demands on behalf of Industry employees,”

“The Council, together with its Parties, have advised ATDF-ASA and other associations on numerous occasions to collaborate with party unions or register with the Department of Employment and Labour, as this is mandated by Law and thereafter these associations would be welcome to then apply to be members of this Council. ATDF-ASA has until now not acceded to that advice.

“The parties to Council have negotiated, concluded, and signed the Settlement Agreement for the Industry which has already been promulgated by the Minister of Employment and Labour for implementation effective from 1 March 2022 and it will not be reversed for any reason.

“It cannot be that an association that was not party to these negotiations can come afterwards and make demands – wanting to open these discussions through the backdoor, without following the South African Employment Law that they have been long advised to follow,” Ndlovu said.

Commenting on ATDF-ASA’s demand that there should be no foreigner employed as a truck driver, Ndlovu said the matter was being attended to by the Minister of Employment and Labour who has since published a Draft National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) and amendments to the Employment Service Act in a view to address such matters.

The NLMP and amendments to the Employment Service Act were published for public comments on the day ATDF-ASA held the shutdown and march to the NBCRFLI offices.

“Once approved, the Council will derive its guidance from this legislation,” Ndlovu added.

He said that he could not understand why ATDF-ASA referred policy matters to the Council when they are part of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team that discusses matters and well know who should address them.

“Ensuing these senseless attacks, it may be necessary for the Parties to Council to shut down the Industry for a period of time, while we wait for the President and the relevant government ministers to resolve these matters.

“The parties to Council are no longer willing to watch and wait for further attacks on their companies, which have cost innocent lives and billions of rands on infrastructure,” Ndlovu concluded.

Meanwhile, ATDF-ASA Secretary-General Sfiso Nyathi told SA Trucker that they have noted with concern the statement by the council.

Read also: ATDF-ASA Clarifies its Position on Forming a Union and ZEP Permits

“The Council is captured by employers and serve their interests while neglecting truck drivers that’s why they talk like that,”

“We are a forum for truck drivers, we don’t want to register as a union, there are over 200 unions registered already but unions are corrupt that’s why we will remain a forum,” said Nyathi.

Asked if he was not afraid to be arrested for defying a Court Order that bars his forum from organising disruptive shutdowns and marches, Nyathi denied having organised any shutdown.

“If disgruntled South African truck drivers decide to strike, is that our fault, no ATDF-ASA leader called or participated in a shutdown. We just marched to the Council and submitted our memorandum that is not illegal,” said Nyathi.

He vowed that his organisation will keep fighting for the rights of truck drivers including those still looking for a job.

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