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BatongaBoro
 
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Postal strike

23 February 2013, 12:47
I appreciate that this is in no way as exciting as, say, an athlete shooting his girlfriend but all the same I thought I would try and draw some attention to the latest shenanigans over at the South African Post Office. It is something that affects many in this country, perhaps to the extent of a number in the millions. The news media outlets have only made passing reference to what is going on thus far.

For the last two weeks the staff at the Witspos and Tshwane "mail hubs" have been on strike for the last two weeks. This means that no mail has been sorted. That translates as no mail has been delivered or collected since the first week of February.

What is the strike abuout? No one seems to actually know, as none of those on strike have presented any sort of representative to explain the current grievances or state what they want. There has been some rumblings about it concerning "money that some staff were due from the Post Office several years ago", but nothing has been said in an official capacity.

The Post Office, with an interesting level of audacity and nerve, state on their web page that the strike has been "contained" and that they are working to resolve this "swiftly". That claim is dated February 15. It is now February 23. No mail has been delivered, and the Post Office branches that I have seen are overloaded with mail items people have tried to send but have not been collected.

I know an awful lot of clever people are going to say "ah, well, I only use electronic mail so it doesn't bother me and you should all do what I do" but sadly this is not possible. Lots of people know many, home and abroad, that do not have the joys of email, and thus post is the only way to keep in touch.

There are also, no doubt, many tens of thousands of undelivered birthday, anniversary and Valentine cards sat with the Post Office, sent by those who like to do something more than take three seconds to send an impersonal "ecard" for special events. There is also the matter of undelivered bills, car licence renewals, speeding fines (OK that last one may be a positive) and indeed parcels ordered from internet retailers.

With no further communication from the Post Office, and no news being reported of anyone investigating what is going on (every journalist in SA needs to be at a court in Pretoria, it seems) there seems to be no end in sight to this most recent of strikes. Even when (if?) this strike is resolved you have to assume that it will just be the motivation for another strike in the near future, as the Post Office has made it clear that it is a "no work no pay" strike.

Nowhere else in the world would this kind of strike, one for no given reason and one that is doing great damage to the national infrastructure, be allowed to just carry on and be ignored. With Oscar's bail hearing now eventually done, perhaps some attention will be given to this matter. Probably not, but perhaps.

To those on strike - why not say what it is that you want, or get back to work? Another option for you would be just to clear off out of it, go find a job you like and let the Post Office employ people that are prepared to do the job they are paid for.


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