SA Post Office employees throughout the country are on strike demanding higher wages. Seen here are workers from a Western Cape branch. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla
Durban -South African Post Office (Sapo) branches across the country remain closed due to strike action, led by three unions.

The Communication Workers Union, Customs Union and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union are continuing negotiations with Sapo management. Sapo workers, who say they have not received a wage increment in three years, are demanding a 12% wage increase.

Communication Workers Union president Clyde Mervin said they had a meeting with the telecommunications minister on Tuesday to address their issues.

“Post Office employees work under terrible conditions, working in bad structures and some branches have to go to neighbours to relieve themselves as some branches do not have toilets,” said Mervin

He added: “Wage increment is not the only struggle that these employees face.”

In meeting with the employer, the Sapo workers were offered an increment from 0% to 10%, as negotiations intensified at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in Johannesburg. Sapo said they could not afford a 12% wage increment. The Western Cape, Democratic Postal and Communications Union’s secretary general, Luthando Mashiya said they would continue with the strike until their demands were met.

A Sapo employee, Ashville Samuels, who has been working for the post office for 27 years is angry and sad about their treatment as employees.

“There is an overload of work. We work overtime but we are not paid well,” he said.

Another employee Thembelani Mbokotwana, who has been working for Sapo for more than eight years said, “I have been working as a delivery guy. We have no tools in my department. We have a limited number of bicycles.”

A Sapo spokesperson, Martie Gilchrist, said, “The stakeholders will all meet with the government to find ways of developing a sustainable solution.”

“The Labour Court in Johannesburg on Monday granted an interdict against striking employees of the Sapo in terms of which striking employees are prevented from harassing, interfering with or intimidating workers that are not on strike,” said Gilchrist.

Daily News