Cape Town - The SA Post Office (Sapo) strike is officially over - for now.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said in a statement that it was not happy with the latest wage agreement, but said it had no choice but to return to work after the SA Postal and Allied Workers Union (Sapawu), CWU and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union (Depacu) had agreed to the conditions set out by Sapo.
CWU president Clyde Mervin told Fin24 that they had suspended the strike and would engage with Sapo to resolve their outstanding issues. "If these are not resolved by January, then we will go on strike again," he said.
Sapo said in a statement that it was pleased with the end of the three-month long strike that impacted its operation. This comes after intense negotiations with the three labour unions, headed up by the leader of the Intervention Team, Dr Simo Lushaba.
“The end of the SA Post Office strike is a pleasing outcome and should be applauded, given the negative impact the strike has had on the country," he said. "We thank all the unions, the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele, and other parties that contributed to the outcome.”
Lushaba said with regard to CWU's threat of further strike action: "The Post Office’s stance is that we are always open to negotiation."
He decried the constant unprotected strikes that negatively impact the SA Post Office, its customers and employees.
“While we are encouraged by the end of the strike, it should also be put across to all affected parties that under our watch, and going forward, the SA Post Office will no longer tolerate any interruptions to its operations due to strikes, which do not fall within the ambit of the applicable labour dispensation of this country,” he added.
He said that the historical laxity has proven to be immensely costly to the overall wellbeing of the SA Post Office, resulting in immeasurable erosion of our value proposition to our customers, our credibility and the economy in general.
“This development will have a direct positive impact on our operations, which are already steadily on the upturn as we have been experiencing sharp increases in employee presence at work from Friday last week. As of today, only 0.7% of the SA Post Office workforce remain absent from work. Consequently, operations in all provinces are now at almost 100% capacity."
He said that they are on course to stabilising the operations and returning them to full capacity; adding that a sustainable SA Post Office can only be possible in a harmonious and collaborative labour relations environment.
“We reiterate our heartfelt gratitude to all the role players involved in this process and encourage this commitment which can only assist in the turning around of the SA Post Office.”