Post office not fair says union
THE South African Post Office Group is accused of favouritism by unions organising in the parastatal.
The South African Postal Workers Union (Sapwu), which broke away from the Communications Workers Union (CWU), said it was snubbed at wage talks, despite a verification audit declaring Sapwu a majority union a month ago. Sapwu claims management is negotiating with the CWU behind Sapwu's back.
This followed an independent verification audit Sapo commissioned in July and August. The audit showed that Sapwu had 33% membership and CWU had 29% in the parastatal.
But an agreement between Sapo and the unions sets the recognition threshold at 40% plus one membership.
While the audit was under way, the Department of Labour stripped CWU of its legal status. The union appealed the decision and will know its fate on September 20 when it meets the department in the Johannesburg Labour Court.
"Not dealing with the issue shows that Sapo has lost it and is not equipped to deal with the day-to-day running of the post office," said Tutu Mokoena, Sapwu's spokesman.
"We call for an immediate appointment of a Sapo chief executive, chief financial officer and chief operating officer," Mokoena said.
Maphutha Diaz, Sapo's human resource executive, said yesterday the firm had decided to freeze negotiations.
"Sapo has put substantive negotiations on hold after receiving the outcome of the verification audit and is considering options," Diaz said.
Mokoena warned that Sapwu would launch an urgent court application if wage negotiations were concluded without the union's presence.
CWU spokesman Matankana Mothapo said the low membership figures were due to Sapo losing membership forms and added the union was being sabotaged.