South Africa’s truck industry is currently under attack from what government is calling “economic sabotage… spearheaded by criminal elements”.
There have been several truck torching incidents and driver kidnappings throughout the country that have been reported on the news after a nationwide truck protest turned violent this week. But despite these national mutinies, local outsourcing company, Innovative Staffing Solutions has managed to keep all their truck drivers and client’s trucks out of harm’s way. “Amid the national truck driver strike, Innovative Staffing Solutions took a proactive approach, constantly communicated with their drivers, rerouting trucks under its management away from national roads and highways and unto back roads. Using Google Maps and our intel, we were able to use safe alternative routes and parked stationary trucks in a secure and undisclosed area where security took guard over them,” says Managing Director of Innovative Staffing Solutions, Arnoux Maré.
He says Innovative Staffing Solutions was able to successfully execute their bold plan because of the great relationship the organisation has with its drivers, clients and unions. Innovative Staffing Solutions is a leader in the outsourcing industry with more than 16,500 permanent employees, of which 6,800 are truck drivers. Maré says one of their depots was petrol-bombed on Monday. However, the company acted quickly and managed to drive the strikers away and removed the trucks to a safer location. “We have a record of accomplishment for navigating very disruptive and dangerous situations, especially when it comes to transport strikes and violent protests. During the big transport strike in 2015, Innovative Staffing Solutions’ trucks were the only ones not participating in the industrial action, ensuring that despite the national strike, fuel and food supplies continued to reach areas in Gauteng and northern regions from the coast,” Maré explains. He says the national scourge afflicting the trucking industry is mitigatable through the benefits of workforce outsourcing. “In this case, Innovative Staffing Solutions would employ the truck drivers, without depriving them of any rights, but rather by improving their working conditions.
Good working conditions and employee rights are at the core of our endeavours,” Maré says. On Sunday KwaZulu-Natal transport, community safety and liaison MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, called for truck drivers to be patient and not embark on actions that result in the damage of property. This followed rumours of the nationwide shutdown. KwaZulu-Natal police said they had arrested 20 individuals who are believed to have been involved in activities relating to trucking violence. The strikes have once again flared at Mooirivier on the N3, and Maré says Innovative Staffing Solutions will be in constant contact with their drivers to ensure their safety. “Violent strikes are detrimental to not only the economy but also to companies and their employees. Our approach is unique but has proved to distinguish us in the current market. We are continually employing a process of learning and growth, which in the end, benefit not only ourselves but our clients as well,” Maré concludes.