Post Office wins court order against strike

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The Post Office is under financial strain. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
The Post Office is under financial strain. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - The South African Post Office (Sapo) has won an urgent court interdict to halt planned strike action on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at a media briefing said it was planning a march involving an estimated 4 000 Gauteng postal workers in Johannesburg.

CWU issued demands to convert all Sapo contract workers to permanent employment, payment of outstanding back pay, 10% salary increases for the current financial year, a halt to changes in workers’ terms and conditions of employment and a “total stop to piecemeal salary payments”.

Union members further expected to submit a memorandum to the Gauteng Premier David Makhura outlining more demands for government to bail out Sapo and release a Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report on corruption at the Post Office.

CWU also called for the Public Protector to release a report on corruption at Sapo.

But Sapo has poured cold water over CWU's strike plans.

“The Labour Court has granted a final order against the industrial action which CWU has scheduled for tomorrow,” said Sapo in an emailed statement to Fin24 on Wednesday afternoon.

“The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been interdicted and restrained from striking and marching to, and/or picketing at the SA Post Office’s work premises; including the head office, retail outlets, mail centres, depots, regional office and hubs tomorrow, 29 October 2015.

“This order effectively makes any strike, march and/or picket unlawful and illegal,” said Sapo.

But in response to the court interdict, the union told Fin24 that it is consulting its legal team and still plans to go ahead with the march, even it just passes by Post Office buildings to the offices of the Public Protector and Gauteng legislature in Johannesburg.

"The strike is not off," CWU provincial spokesperson Veli Zulu told Fin24.

Meanwhile, CWU said earlier on Wednesday that its intended march was planned before the advent of Sapo’s problems with paying salaries.

Over the last week, Sapo has publicly announced that it’s negative financial position means that it’s struggling to pay full salaries and that it paid staff 70% of their full salaries last week.

Sapo said that it plans to pay the remaining 30% on Wednesday.

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