The Communication Workers Union and the South African Postal Workers Union said on Monday they had declared a wage dispute with the post office.
“The company is claiming to have suffered losses of R178m, hence it could not meet the salary demands of 10% and other conditions of employment,” Communication Workers Union acting general secretary Thabo Mogalane said in a statement.
He said the post office was offering a 6% increase across the board.
Mogalane said there was also conflict around other employment conditions.
Post office acting chief operating officer Buzwe Yafele said he was meeting the unions on Monday, after which he would be able to provide more information.
The loss emerged last week, when the post office unveiled its results for 2012/2013.
CEO Christopher Hlekane said in a statement at the time: “The headwinds faced by the group can be overcome.”
He blamed the loss on a decline in mail business and employee strikes between February and March.
“We are working tirelessly with organised labour to devise a long-term solution to even out our seemingly unstable labour environment, which hampers productivity,” Hlekane said at the time.
Earlier this month, casual workers went on strike at mail processing centres in some parts of Gauteng.
The strike ended days later, when both parties agreed to extend the workers’ contracts for three months while a permanent solution was sought. — Sapa