The South African Post Office has won an urgent court interdict to halt planned strike action on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at a media briefing said it was planning a march involving an estimated 4 000 Gauteng postal workers in Johannesburg.
The CWU issued demands to convert all Post Office contract workers to permanent employment, payment of outstanding back pay, 10% salary increases for the current financial year, a halt to changes in workers’ terms and conditions of employment and a “total stop to piecemeal salary payments”.
Union members further expected to submit a memorandum to Gauteng premier David Makhura outlining more demands for government to bail out the Post Office and release a Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report on corruption at the company.
The CWU also called for the public protector to release a report on corruption at the Post Office.
But the company has poured cold water on the CWU’s strike plans.
“The labour court has granted a final order against the industrial action which the CWU has scheduled for tomorrow,” said the Post Office in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday afternoon.
“The CWU has been interdicted and restrained from striking and marching to, and/or picketing at, the Post Office’s work premises, including the head office, retail outlets, mail centres, depots, regional office and hubs tomorrow, 29 October.
“This order effectively makes any strike, march and/or picket unlawful and illegal,” it said.
But in response to the court interdict, the union said it is consulting its legal team and still plans to go ahead with the march, even it just passes by Post Office buildings to the offices of the public protector and Gauteng legislature in Johannesburg.
“The strike is not off,” CWU provincial spokesman Veli Zulu said.
Meanwhile, the CWU said earlier on Wednesday that its intended march was planned before the advent of the Post Office’s problems with paying salaries.
Over the past week, the company has announced that it’s negative financial position means it’s struggling to pay full salaries and that it paid staff 70% of their full salaries last week.
It said that it plans to pay the remaining 30% on Wednesday. — Fin24