Post office yields to critical union demands

As the South African Post Office strike is now well into its second week, union leaders are confident wage talks are nearing their conclusion.

Thousands of workers affiliated with the Communication Workers Union, the South African Customs Union and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union (Depacu) downed tools on July 6 to demand higher wages.

Unions and representatives from the state-owned entity met on Monday to resolve the wage dispute in talks facilitated by telecommunications and postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele.

Though previous negotiations involving the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration ended in a deadlock, Monday’s talks, Depacu general secretary Levy Zwane said, yielded fruitful resolutions on demands that have become sticking points during the negotiations.

READ MORE: Post office wage talks deadlocked

Prior to the talks, the Post Office had offered a 6% wage increase while the unions demanded 12%. According to the unions, workers have not received a wage increase since 2017.


Zwane said the unions lowered their demand from 10% to 8.5% during the course of negotiations, while Sapo’s offer now stands at 6.5%.

Though Depacu had a number of demands, the union had streamlined their proposal to attend to two critical demands: the wage increase and that permanent part-time employees, who work four and a half hours a day, be made fully permanent and have their hours raised, Zwane said.

The state-owned entity attended to these demands on Monday, resolving to convert 500 of these permanent part-time employees to permanent workers — a proposal Zwane called a “big win” for the unions.

Sapo had also offered to raise the hours of permanent part-timers from 25 hours to 27.5 hours per week, Zwane said.

Unions will now present this new package to its members for further consultation.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.
Advertising

Taxis and Covid-19: ‘The ideal doesn’t exist’

After months of complaining about the regulations imposed on the industry, taxi owners have been given a lifeline

Mask rules are not meant to ‘criminalise’ the public

Shop owners and taxi drivers can now refuse entry to people who defy mandatory mask-wearing regulations

Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday