Post Office seeks to prevent strike in Jhb

Johannesburg - The South African Post Office (Sapo) said it is hoping to prevent a “planned strike” in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Approximately 1 000 Sapo workers, who are members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), are expected to march to offices of the Post Office on October 29, the Public Protector and government legislature in Johannesburg.

CWU told Fin24 that it will march against problems at Sapo which include late salary payments and alleged mismanagement. Meanwhile, the union also wants the Public Protector to release a report on ghost workers and corruption at the Post Office.

Last month, CWU also said it wanted government to bail out the Post Office.

“While we confirm that we have received notice for a march on 29 October, the SA Post Office remains optimistic that our continuous engagements with our labour partners will yield an amicable solution, resulting in the prevention of the planned strike,” said Sapo.

“Any operational instability would be too costly particularly during this period when we are at the start of the bulk mailing by retail and other customers,” the Post Office said.

The Post Office added that there are “various efforts aimed at affecting the current situation” which include the appointment of a “full-strength board”.

Meanwhile, CWU’s president, Clyde Mervin, told Fin24 that a planned march will still go ahead in Johannesburg.

“The march is going ahead,” Mervin said.

Mervin further told Fin24 that that march is planned only for Johannesburg at this stage but that marches are being planned for other provinces at a later date.

The Post Office is under particular pressure as it was put under administration last year amid a poor financial performance. Its board also resigned in November last year following a crippling months-long strike.

On Monday, the Post Office explained that it has only paid its staff 70% of their salaries on October 25 while it plans to pay the balance on the last day of the month.

This situation changed from last week when Sapo at first said that it could only pay 50% of staff salaries owing to financial challenges.

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