Protesters vandalise post office, torch car

2014-10-01 12:37

The Vanderbijlpark Post Office in Gauteng has been vandalised and a vehicle torched.

“Yes there was an incident of vandalism there yesterday. Windows were broken and a car was set alight by protesters,” South African Post Office spokesperson Lungile Lose said.

No injuries were reported.

Casual workers had been on strike for two weeks demanding permanent positions.

According to the City Press, post office employees were claiming that management was dragging its heels in converting casual workers to permanent staff.

This was part of the organisation’s labour strategy approved last year to convert 7 945 casual workers into permanent employees.

The post office was using a phased approach, offering casual workers part-time positions as an alternative to being contracted to the company through labour brokers.

“The aim of the flexible labour strategy has always been to advance the part-time employees to more permanent positions with full benefits. However, a staggered approach had to be adopted given the difficult financial position the company is in,” the post office’s group chief operating officer Mlu Mathonsi was quoted as saying.

“Disputes with unions are around agreements made at the time that casual workers would be employed in entry level positions with limited benefits.”

Advancement to full-time positions with full benefits would only be done if the organisation was in a financial position to do so, the newspaper reported.

Lose said a press statement would be issued shortly with an update on the strike.

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