Cape Town – There may be good news for consumers suffering from the post office strike, with the task team appointed to sort out the SA Post Office sending signs that the bad times are coming to an end.
The SA Post Office said in a statement on Thursday that it was “witnessing marked operational improvement with more employees resuming their duties”.
Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele appointed an intervention team to find a sustainable solution for labour relations challenges,
“The minister’s call for all stakeholders to claim a stake in resolving the current labour impasse faced by the SA Post Office has had a positive impact on the company’s operations, especially with regard to striking employees heeding the call to return to work,” said Dr Simo Lushaba, leader of the SA Post Office Administration Team.
“We are witnessing increasing numbers of employees returning to work each day and would like to thank the minister and all the affected stakeholders for their role in this encouraging development.”
Lushaba said the major mail sorting centres in Gauteng that were hardest hit by the strike –Witspos and Tshwane Mail – were now 100% staffed and operational. The Polokwane and Welkom mail sorting centres that have also been impacted by the strike have also resumed operations.
However, the Germiston and the Johannesburg International (OR Tambo) mail centre are not as yet back to full capacity even though mail has begun to flow from these centres.
“We have not as yet reached a settlement with all three labour unions, but the impact of the strike on our operations is significantly reduced and mail is flowing again,” he said. “The discussions with the unions are still ongoing and we are optimistic of a meeting of minds within the immediate future as all parties are in harmony about the need to find a long-lasting solution.”
The post office posted on Facebook on Tuesday that negotiations in the Leadership Forum had started to show results. “Two of the labour unions, Depacu and Sapwu, have come to an agreement with the Post Office about ending the strike,” it said. “CWU did not attend the meetings and has asked instead for the convening of the bargaining chamber to see if a final settlement can be reached.”
“The on-going seasonal labour unrests of the SA Post Office are really an unacceptable development as the SA Post Office serves a critical role in economic development”, said Lushaba. “We regret the impact this has had on our customers and assure them that it is our fervent intention to remodel our operations to meet acclaimed standards of a 21st century company.”
The impact of the strike has affected not only consumers, but the staff members too, as was evidence in this Facebook posting: