CWU calls off wage strike by Post Office workers

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Reuters

File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - Employees of the South African Post Office who are members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have abandoned their wage strike. But on Friday the union said it would reorganise should a mediation process fail over the next four weeks.

Clyde Marvin, the CWU’s first deputy president, said all Post Office staff on strike were expected back at work today.

Last Thursday, the Post Office successfully sought an interdict against union members in the Johannesburg Labour Court. The strike started more than a week ago as the Post Office tried to quash an illegal strike by casual workers seeking permanent employment.

The unrest had left a backlog of undelivered letters and parcels that would take 12 days to clear, spokesman Lungile Lose said last week.

The union demanded a 10 percent salary rise but later lowered its request to 8 percent. The Post Office unilaterally implemented a 7 percent increase, to the union’s surprise, the latter said. The organisation reported losses of R178 million for the 2013/14 fiscal year and was exploring the use of digitisation to rely less on human resources, it said last year.

“As the CWU, we wish to state in no uncertain terms our intention to go back to the streets should the mediation process as agreed with the Labour Court fail. The question of whether or not they meet our demands is their problem. Our demand as part of Cosatu is that we want decent jobs,” CWU general secretary Thabo Mogalane said.

Meanwhile, the union was preparing a dossier on maladministration and corruption in the Post Office, Marvin said.

Post Office management was not prepared to comment.

Marvin said its investigation considered offences dated from 2011, when the union contacted the public protector to investigate. The union said it had not received a report from the public protector’s office. Last month it approached the National Assembly’s committee on justice and constitutional development to pressurise the public protector.

“Despite the public protector’s promise to release the report on their investigation by September 2012, we have not received any report three years down the line,” Mogalane said.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating affairs at the Post Office after receiving a proclamation from President Jacob Zuma two weeks ago.

SIU spokesman Boy Ndala said the investigation was regarded as “ongoing”.

The investigation will consider offences that took place between January 1, 2004 and the date of theproclamation.

The SIU will probe serious maladministration, improper or unlawful conduct by employees or officials, and unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property.

It will also review unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive acts, transactions, measures or practices that have a bearing on state property, intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property.

Contraventions of a section of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, and unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interest of the public, will also be probed. - Business Report


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