The union promises to close the post office over wages and unpaid benefits

  • The Communication Workers Union plans to close South Africa Post offices over wages and unpaid health insurance premiums.
  • Union demonstrations include marches to the Treasury, the Communications Ministry and Parliament.
  • CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said the union would be ignored and would consider a possible strike.
  • For more financial news go to News24 Business front page.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it will seek to shut down South African Post Offices (SAPO) across the country Thursday and Friday as workers demand a 15 percent pay rise and solutions to the ongoing crisis in medical contributions .

SAPO has failed to keep up with medical aid staff contributions to its medical aid provider, Medipos, with the latest conflict occurring earlier this month.

On Thursday the union plans to march from the union buildings to the Ministry of Communications and the Treasury in Pretoria. In the Western Cape, the CWU will also march before Parliament with demands including a 15 percent pay rise and an end to the health insurance crisis.

There will also be mass pickets at post offices in all nine provinces across the country. The union said pickets and demonstrations would continue until Friday and would escalate into “phase two” when the possibility of a strike would be examined if SAPO management failed to meet its demands.

READ | The post office doesn’t have enough money to pay for the medical help – again

CWU Secretary General Aubrey Tshabalala said Cosatu and the South African Communist Party would support the mobilization. He said talks are underway with ANC structures for their support.

“Postal workers have only received one raise in a period of over five years. All of her statutory benefits have been cut. Medical aid has not been paid, and members who leave the system find themselves in debt of thousands of rands for unpaid medical aid dues, Tshabalala said.

Tshabalala told News24 that SAPO employees were dealing with significant financial uncertainty, including the specter of possible cuts, while the Post’s management continued to struggle to meet the most basic commitments to workers.

“The workers have lost and on top of that they don’t get a raise. One of the demands is that there must be a 15% pay rise and benefits. We’re also going to the department on their failure to make sure that the post office gets back on its feet,” Tshabalala said.

READ | The Post vows to consult 40% of workplaces to get involved in austerity plans

Tshabalala said the CWU is calling for a new accountable board to run the SAPO. He said the union also has objections to Postbank’s divestment from the post office, which he says will have serious financial consequences for Sapo.

Tshabalala said the union would march to the Ministry of Communications, the Treasury and Parliament. He said the state had played a role in undermining the Post and the union had demanded it change course. News24 has reached out to SAPO for comment, which has not yet been received at the time of publication.

A SAPO spokesman previously told News24 that the company was struggling to pay medical aid dues for November because of its financial woes, but that it was openly communicating with employees and working on a solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *