“We have been in meetings with SAPO since yesterday… if it comes to a push, we may stage an indefinite mass sit-in of post office workers around the country,” CWU spokesman Matankana Mothapo told Sapa.
He said since Tuesday, six CWU national office bearers had staged a sit-in at SAPO’s head office in Pretoria.
This was to protest against SAPO’s apparent cancellation of CWU membership of some of its employees.
“At the centre of this furore is SAPO’s deliberate cancellation of CWU membership…[what they did was] donate them to the new Mickey Mouse union called the South African Postal Workers’ Union (SAPWU),” Mothapo claimed in a statement.
SAPWU was created by the post office’s management in the last month or so, as a way to multiply the number of trade unions in the workplace, to the detriment of workers’ interests, he alleged.
This also undermined an agency fee agreement between the parties, where non-CWU members paid an amount equivalent to the CWU subscription fee into a separate account, in order to benefit from collective bargaining.
Mothapo said they were considering legal action against SAPO if the dispute was not resolved soon.
“We may also then have a national sit-in of all our members, rather than just the six office bearers currently.”
SAPO spokesman Lungile Lose said CWU’s allegations were untrue.
“We haven’t started our own union. I don’t know if any company would start their union as nobody benefits. It doesn’t make sense,” Lose told Sapa in a telephone interview.
“We went through a negotiation process not long ago to look at employment conditions and salaries. This year there wasn’t even a strike… why would there be an issue about anything now?”
A total of 10,451 workers out of SAPO’s 16,095 permanent staff were CWU members.