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Communication workers are on the march

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The Communication Workers Union members march in the city yesterday against labour brokers. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

RIVONINGO NDHAMBI

MEMBERS of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) took to the streets to march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday in protest at the use of labour brokers and to hand over a memorandum.

“We want the labour brokers to go and the Post Office must take over,” said Prince Masangu, who works for the SA Post Office.

“We don’t want to work in these conditions – R14 an hour is not a living wage.”

Anna Lehomo said all Post Office workers wanted to be members of the permanent staff.

“I have been working for 12 years at the Post Office and I want to be a permanent employee. We have children to look after,” she said.

The marchers gathered in Church Square in the morning before making their way along Madiba Street to the Union Buildings, singing and dancing and holding banners with such messages as “Equal pay for work of equal value” and “We are being used like condoms”.

A memorandum was handed over to the Department of Communications, Department of Finance and the Department of State Enterprises. It demanded, among other things, that all positions at the SA Post Office be converted to permanent posts immediately, with all benefits, including but not limited to a housing allowance, pension and medical aid.

They want all SA Post Office contracts with labour brokers to be terminated and the outsourcing of Speed Service to the Courier Freight Group to be stopped.

Cosatu Gauteng chairman Phutas Tseki said: “We have to make sure we give a clear message from our movement that labour broking is human trafficking.”

Aubrey Tshabalala, the provincial secretary of CWU, said: “From here we cannot say what the next plan of action is, but until the issue of the labour brokers is dealt with, we won’t stop.”

After receiving the memorandum, the Deputy Director of Public Liaison in the Presidency, Melisizwe Bleki, said: “We have received the memos and we have signed them. We will respond after we have interacted with the contents of the memo.”

The CWU, according to Tshabalala, has given the three departments a week to come back with an answer.


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