Minister asks post office, unions to end strike

2014-10-10 14:49

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele today asked the South African Post Office and unions to call on workers to end their strike.

He was engaged in “serious discussions” with all stakeholders, he said.

“All the stakeholders have noted the negative impact of the ongoing industrial action, the financial state of the post office, and the violence and intimidation.

“The management and the unions are currently jointly engaging workers to appeal to them to get back to work and explain all the processes that are being undertaken to address all the issues the workers have raised.”

Cwele said he was encouraged by the progress made so far.

“We are committed to serving South Africans. We assure all South Africans that we will continue to engage all stakeholders and work tirelessly to bring an end to the industrial action in order to restore the service delivery,” he said.

The nearly two-month-long strike concerns the conversion of casual workers to permanent staff.

The Communication Workers’ Union said today it was surprised by Cwele’s call.

The union added that it was “taken aback” by the initiative of “the company and other groupings under the auspices of the department of telecommunications and postal services” to call off the strike and agree to a proposal “made by the company without consultation with the workers”.

It said this approach had worsened the “crisis” at the post office.

It was the union’s view that the workers “must give us a mandate” on whether the deal of converting them to permanent employees in stages and a salary increase were “worth considering or not”, it said.

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