Labour court upholds SA Post Office application to stay-off CWU plans for industrial action

MARCH 6, 2015

The Labour Court in Johannesburg this morning granted the SA Post Office an interim order to put off the CWU planned industrial action. The interim order declares the certificate on non-resolution which the Council for Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) granted to Communication Workers Union (CWU) invalid.  Both parties will return to court on 24 April 2015. 

Until then, any industrial action by employees of the SA Post Office relating to this matter will be an illegal and unprotected strike. The outcome of this court ruling is that the SA Post Office is in full operations and customers can continue to receive all service unobstructed. The court ruling also provides the Administration Technical Intervention Team appointed by the Minister a focus on its work of stabilizing the SA Post Office and turning the business around. 

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) had threatened to embark on a work-to-rule commencing yesterday (05 March 2015) following its CCMA award of a certificate on non-resolution, which the SA Post Office has challenged in court.

“The Labour Court verdict this afternoon is a positive development as it affords the SA Post Office an opportunity to continue providing uninterrupted services to its customers. Additionally, the judgement affords the Administration team an important opportunity to continue unhindered with its efforts to introduce measures that will turn the SA Post Office around, a task which is intrinsically tied to the national agenda. We invite all the SA Post Office stakeholders, especially its labour partners, to join hands in this vital task in spite of prevailing differences,” said Dr Simo Lushaba, SA Post Office Administrator.

He added that strong labour relations ties are an important vehicle for seamless operations at the SA Post Office. “The current state of the SA Post Office operations and its financial position demonstrates the grim realities of fractious relations. We have learnt our lessons and are busy at work correcting this for the benefit of both our employees and customers.” Lushaba explains.

Lushaba added that the SA Post Office management and his Administration Team will continue their efforts to engage with all trade unions represented in the SA Post Office to address all outstanding labour issues in an amicable manner, taking into account affordability and the sustainability of the business.