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Police stop Sapo workers from marching

JOBURG – Sapo workers continue to demand better treatment from Post Office management.


Employees at the South African Post Office (Sapo) were recentely stopped by police from marching to Braamfontein to demand answers about various issues including the dismissal of more than 200 workers.

The workers are members of the Influential Information and Communications Union of South Africa (IICUOSA).

South African Police Service (Saps) officers produced a court interdict stating that the march was illegal, but IICUOSA secretary general, Gibson Ramoadi dismissed this and said the protesters were given permission to proceed with the march by Metro Police.

“The court order does not prohibit [protesters] from marching, so why are we being stopped and not allowed to continue with the march,” said Ramoadi.

According to him, Sapo has dismissed almost 300 employees for raising their grievances with the current chief executive officer of Sapo, Mark Barnes.

The workers are complaining about the following:

  • It has been three years since they received a salary increase.
  • They have worked for the company for the past 15 years as casuals without benefits and the company has since promised to convert them into full-time employees.
  • Wrongful deductions made by management to unions that they have never joined.
  • Not receiving a uniform and being forced to deliver mail wearing rags which makes them unidentifiable to the communities that they are serving to such an extent that sometimes people mistake them for thieves.
  • Bashing of unions by management in that members and leadership are charged daily; and victimisation by managers and supervisors.

“I have communicated with all our employees regarding labour issues. The Post Office has started recovering in terms of service standards and is in the process of making financial improvements as well,” said Barnes.

Barnes also added that the company needs funding to address the concerns of its employees, so a strike at this time would jeopardise current funding arrangements and will not help to address workers’ issues.

“We will continue to engage all trade unions on matters that affect employees,” said Barnes.

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