Communication Workers Union (CWU) is outraged by the South African Post Office (SAPO) management deceit manner in dealing with workers benefits. This comes after the then Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Bavumile Nongogo, wrote a letter to workers and to the unions on the 24th April 2020, indicating that SAPO is unable to honour its 2 years’ salary and substantive negotiations agreement with the unions due to financial constraints as a result of lockdown regulations. In the letter, the company made a commitment that increases would be implemented on the 25th of May 2020 and backdated to April 2020. On the 24th May 2020, another letter was written indicating that the company would only be able to pay salary increases in August 2020. The agreement between organised labour and the company, states that the annual salary increases will be implemented at the beginning of the financial year (April) at 6.5%, and the last batch of casual workers will be concurrently converted into permanent positions. To add to the wounds of the workers, CWU learned that Pension Fund, Medical Aid and Policies were not paid on behalf of workers for the past 3 months, despite the fact that these monies were deducted from their salaries. The failure to pay these debit orders have dire consequences on the livelihood of workers. Already, there are workers who have been turned down by medical practitioners because of the lack of funds on their medical aids.
The union calls for the board of Post Office to execute its fiduciary duties of overseeing that there is cooperate governance in the institution. This action is tantamount to the misappropriation of public funds and in this instance, directly stealing from poor workers’ salaries. CWU condemn this thuggish behaviour and calls for those who are responsible to be expelled from the institution. On the 11th of June 2020, CWU wrote a letter to the SAPO board demanding that it initiates a forensic audit on SAPO’s financial report and reviewal of contracts. The board had since commissioned the initiating of the investigation; however, nothing has happened since then; instead there is an erosion of workers benefits. The union welcomes the appointment of the new Acting CEO, Reneilwe Langa and call on her to immediately respond to the union’s outcry. There should be immediate implementation on the agreement on salaries and substantive matters, backdated to April 2020. Furthermore, on non-payments of workers life-covers, funeral-covers, insurance covers, medical aid schemes and pension funds, the company must explain itself and pay these debit orders with immediate effect.
CWU has since brought this matter to the attention of the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies Minister, Stella Ndabeni Abrahams over the weekend and we were equally shocked that the Minister was not kept abreast with these developments. The union is further engaging its constituency on a possible action that the union might embark on, which might include a rollout mass action. We call to management and relevant authorities to swiftly resolve the matter, since the patience of the union has been stretched to its limits. The situation is currently volatile at Post Office as workers are justifiably looking for answers.
Issued by the Office of the General Secretary
CWU General Secretary
Cell: 061 481 1080