Post Office Fires Striking Workers

The South African Post Office dismissed six employees who violated a court order during the illegal strike that crippled postal operations in the last quarter of 2014, it said on Wednesday.

The dismissal follows an internal disciplinary hearing which resulted from a conviction by the Pretoria criminal court in November 2014.

The conviction was for violating a labour court order prohibiting the employees from gathering in front of the Tshwane Mail Centre.

“Under the stewardship of the administrator, Simo Lushaba, we are committed to constructive engagement based on processes that comply with the laws of our land,” said acting Post Office CEO Mlu Mathonsi.

“We encourage our employees to help avoid similar outcomes at all times by upholding the laws of our country in all their activities.”

The post office said it has embarked on internal efforts encouraging employees to scale up their performance and avoid any service interruptions to restore trust and confidence among customers.

A key part of this journey, said Mathonsi, is to ensure adherence to legal means of resolving disputes. “While noting that there are more cases that await finalisation, we hope not to see any more dismissals,” he said. “It doesn’t please us to see such outcomes.”

The company said it remains committed to ongoing dialogues with its labour unions to achieve a sustainable labour solution.

After a prolonged strike in 2014, the South African Postal Workers Union and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union, which represent 50% of the employees in the bargaining unit, agreed to an increase of 6,5% for the bargaining unit from 1 December 2014.

“The ongoing seasonal labour unrests of SA Postal Services are really an unacceptable development as the SA post office serves a critical role in economic development,” administrator Lushaba said in 2014.

“We regret the impact this has had on our customers and assure them that it is our fervent intention to remodel our operations to meet acclaimed standards of a 21st century company.”