Telkom, Post Office workers down tools as wage negotiations deadlock

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Telkom and Post Office workers have downed tools as wage negotiations hit a deadlock. Workers are demanding a 12% increase while Telkom is offer 3% and the Post Office is offering 6%.

Social grant beneficiaries have been the most affected by Post Office closures as workers joined the strike.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU), the Democratic Postal and Communications Union (DEPACU) and the South African Communications Union (SACU) have joined forces in a nationwide strike for a 16% wage increase.

“We demand 12% in Telkom. Telkom is currently offering 3% and we are also demanding a 75% to try to bridge an apartheid wage gap structure.  If you look on the other side, post office initially gave us nothing by saying they have a 0%. They have moved now to 6% but we remain resolute at 12% at this point in time.”

Workers are also demanding an R800 housing allowance for those who do not have a housing allowance and a R1500 increase for those who have one. Unions are also demanding that all part-time contractors be made permanent.

Tshabalala says their demands will be handed to the relevant offices in Johannesburg and other parts of the country.

“In Johannesburg, there is Post Office, there is also Telkom. There is also the minister representative of the Telecommunications and the Postal Services, also there is Luthuli House.  So, we are going there today to hand-deliver those memoranda amongst other things.”

Tshabalala says negotiations started earlier in 2018 before the matter went to the CCMA where unions were granted a certificate to embark on industrial action.

“The negotiations took place since the beginning of the year. Earlier in February, right up until now, where we ultimately had to go to CCMA because the employer did not move from a 0%, in the line of the post office.”

“The CCMA granted us a certificate to embark of an industrial action. Telkom on only moved with 3% but there was elements of undermining the bargaining process because telecom unilaterally implemented the 3% wage increase.”

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