17.2 C
Durban
Saturday, July 13, 2024

Nida truck drivers park off trucks in protest over racism, poor wages

- Advertisement -

Hundreds of Nida Transport trucks are currently parked at their depots dotted around the country as drivers protest over racism, pay, and inhuman treatment amongst other grievances.

Trucks were parked at Nida Transport’s Bothaville, Swartzer Reneke, Vryburg, Kuruman, Postmasburg, Barkleywest, and Bloemfontein depots from Monday morning.

SA Trucker has seen a memorandum sent to management by the truck drivers with a plethora of grievances ranging from racism to inconsistent remuneration.

- Advertisement -

Drivers are complaining about some fleet managers who racially abuse them.

SA Trucker contacted one of the managers who is accused of calling drivers Black Baboon’ but he refused to comment and referred this reporter to the reception where the call continuously went unanswered.

Driver grievances
Racism – Drivers want the company to take action against a manager who is accused of racism, calling drivers ‘black baboon’.

Inconsistent Remuneration – drivers are complaining about a salary shortfall of R2000 on 31 July 2020. They also need an explanation as to why their salary is way below the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) rates.

- Advertisement -

Drivers also demanded that management explain how they calculate salaries after several inconsistencies.

“This is a s*** company, after doing 12 Kuruman – Durban loads a month, you get R8 000 salary, that’s pure slavery,” said one of the truck drivers.

Payslips seen by SA Trucker showed that there was no overtime or trip bonus to show how drivers earned their salary.

Off days – drivers accuse managers of denying them off days even in exceptional and desperate situations.

In several WhatsApp chats sent to us, one driver desperately shared a private picture of a wound on his privates to prove to his manager that he needed time to visit a doctor but the manager refused and told him to proceed with his trip.

- Advertisement -
Nida truck drivers park off trucks in protest over racism, poor wages wound
This truck driver was allegedly refused time off to seek medical attention. Pic supplied.
Nida truck drivers park off trucks in protest over racism, poor wages wound1
This truck driver was allegedly refused time off to seek medical attention. Pic supplied.

Another driver whose wife was allegedly sick and hospitalised leaving a six-month-old baby in the care of a neighbour, asked for time off but the same manager responded, “Fill diesel hand in your pods and go to Kuruman when you back I will make a plan for you.”

Nida truck drivers park off trucks in protest over racism, poor wages sick wife
This driver was refused time off to attend to his sick wife and child. Pic supplied

Bargaining council deductions – drivers allege that they have been deregistered from NBCRFI but their money was still being deducted.

A truck driver said, “before you sign a contract you are told explicitly not to join a union if you join it, you will be fired, so we are afraid to join unions but our working conditions are horrible”

“When driving from Kuruman to Durban, a distance of over 1000km, the controllers don’t want you to rest until you offload,” he added.

SA Trucker listened to a recorded conversation in which one truck driver was being instructed not to stop at Harrismith and Mooi River because he should offload on the same day. The driver was complaining that he could not carry on since he was tired but his manager demanded that he proceed without stopping.

SA Trucker has seen a memorandum addressed to Nida Management warning of the downing of tools on the 3rd of August 2020.

Drivers told this reporter that Nida Management did not attempt to solve the impasse, instead, they sent out messages to drivers threatening disciplinary action if they did not go back to work.

Nida truck drivers park off trucks in protest over racism, poor wages WhatsApp Image 2020 08 03 at 15.23.31
A chain of messages sent out to truck drivers after they embarked on the strike action. Pic supplied

SA Trucker contacted Nida Transport Managing Director, David Palmer, for comment but he refused to say anything.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

Stay Connected

281,184FansLike
9,770FollowersFollow
65,100FollowersFollow
35,582FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Similar Stories