CUSTOMERS were left with no assistance after the Polokwane Post Office was shut down by strikers yesterday.
About 50 members of the Communications Workers Union, the Democratic Postal and Communications Union and the South African Postal Workers Union said the shutdown came after negotiations with the post office failed. They said the post office had failed to engage with them since February and rather chose to approach the CCMA.
Unions demand that 3 721 temporary workers be permanently employed. The post office said this would cost R270 million.
Amos Mofokeng, the communications union’s Limpopo deputy secretary, said they were also demanding that their housing subsidy be increased to R1 800 but the post office reduced it to R1 500.
“We demanded that R800 be paid to all employees who don’t qualify for a housing subsidy but they revised it to R400.”
“We also demanded that the 10 days of family responsibility leave be increased to 15 and that 40 days of sick leave be increased to 90, which they refused.”
The unions said as no agreement had been reached, they would shut down all Limpopo post offices. “We acknowledge the issue of people not getting their social grants and we are apologising but the situation forces us,” said Mofokeng.
Kwena Mofokeng (56) said he had gone to the post office to withdraw stokvel money for a burial but was turned away.
“We don’t know how the funeral will continue if the shutdown doesn’t end,” he said.
Kitchener Nkosi, Limpopo Post Office regional manager, said there was not much his office could do as the strike was national. He said negotiations are done in Pretoria.