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Truck drivers bemoan dangerous working conditions

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The SA Liberated Public Sector Workers Union intends to close down all truck companies that are not complying with the basic conditions of employment.

Salipswu provincial organiser Thapelo Thole said that truck drivers are dying on public roads as they are over-fatigued and are falling asleep behind the wheel. Picture: Supplied

THE SA Liberated Public Sector Workers Union (Salipswu) intends to close down all trucking companies that are not complying with the basic conditions of employment.

Salipswu provincial organiser Thapelo Thole stated that truck drivers were dying on public roads as they were over-fatigued and were falling asleep behind the wheel.

“They are expected to drive long distances of up to 18 hours per shift without any sleep before embarking on their next trip,” said Thole.

“A co-truck driver was left severely traumatised after he witnessed his colleague dying in an accident, where no counselling was offered to him.”

Thole added that the union would be visiting “every company in the country” that was not complying with the basic conditions of employment, starting from next week.

A truck driver said that they were not given the luxury of lunch breaks.

“While tax and unemployment fees are deducted from our salaries, we do not enjoy these benefits. Many of the companies are not properly registered with the bargaining council.”

He added that truck drivers were expected to make use of pit latrines at the depots.

“There are no showers or proper restrooms. We travel throughout the whole country and are at risk of being hijacked although we are not offered any danger allowances.”

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