Premium Journalist
1 minute read
6 May 2016
4:31 pm

Sapo settlement reached hours after march


The union had previously warned of 'rolling mass action' if their demands were not heeded.

South African Post Office workers outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg, where they demanded that the ANC instruct National Treasury to bailout the struggling Post Office. PIC. Lindi Masinga/ANA

Mere hours after marching on Luthuli House, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) announced it had reached a settlement with the embattled SA Post Office (Sapo) workers.

Earlier Friday about 100 Sapo workers, who were on the second day of a two-day strike, marched to the headquarters of the ruling ANC to demand that the government bail out the struggling entity.

In a joint statement with the CWU, Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said: “The SA Post Office and Communication Workers Union (CWU) met to discuss the current situation in Sapo and have agreed on a process to resolve the outstanding labour issues”.

Kruger said both parties would continue with engagements with a projected timeline of one month, while in the meantime CWU would suspend its industrial action and would provide detailed reports to its members during feedback sessions next week.

The announcement of the agreement came just hours after the union warned the ANC of “rolling mass action” if their demands for a government bail out for the South African Post Office were again ignored by the party.

Post Office workers, who embarked on a two-day strike on Thursday to press for wage hikes and permanent jobs, marched from the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown to Luthuli House to deliver their memorandum of demands.

The union, which had anticipated thousands of members to join the march was represented by a small group of about 100 workers, wants the ANC to instruct the National Treasury to bail out the Post Office.

Sapo chief executive officer, Mark Barnes, who was appointed last year to help rescue the struggling state enterprise, told Parliament in April that Sapo needed R3.5 billion in funding to help the post office emerge from its current financial dire straits.