Johannesburg - Gauteng postal workers who embarked on a strike last month face dismissal, the SA Post Office (Sapo) said on Monday.
“Following unsuccessful efforts to resolve the current illegal strike, the Sapo has initiated procedures to dismiss the postal workers who participated in the illegal strike in Gauteng,” it said in a statement.
The decision to dismiss the workers had become “unavoidable” after they failed to heed ultimatums to return to work on March 13, said Sapo.
The strike began on February 14, with Witspos and Tshwane Mail centres the most affected.
On February 19, Sapo was granted an interdict declaring the strike illegal and unprotected.
Sapo said the striking workers had been misled into believing they were owed pension funds.
A meeting with unions and attempts to meet the leaders of striking employees had failed to yield any results.
“A process at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration initiated to end the strike, and communication efforts to advise the employees of the source of the strike also failed.”
Sapo said it had considered the sustainability of the business.
“It is vital to always consider our customers as being at the centre of everything we do and the current illegal strike has unfortunately impacted negatively on customer service.”
Communication Workers' Union Gauteng secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said some workers had already received letters of dismissal.
The strike was sanctioned by a small group of employees and not by unions, he said.
“The group said the strike did not require any intervention from unions, but now our members' jobs are at risk.”
Members of the CWU had on various occasions tried to enter work premises to work but were denied entry, said Tshabalala.
He said the union's leaders would meet on Monday evening to discuss the matter. - Sapa