The fact that many workers have been employed in temporary positions by the post office for the past 10 years and despite various agreements with management still have not been permanently employed, make the prolonged strike by frustrated Gauteng Post Office workers understandable.
The workers earn very little while labour brokers earn up to R20 000 per individual appointed on a contract basis. In contrast, according to media reports, the striking workers earn as little as R2200. This is grossly unfair.
Permanent employment was promised to these employees as early as 2005 when an agreement was struck between CWU and SAPO to convert part time workers into permanent staff with the accompanying benefits.
UASA understands how the strike hurts the economy and normal households not receiving bills and other mailed pieces, and it is time that SAPO gets its act together. Not all business is done via email and cellular phones, and many still rely on mail delivery to do business.
Going through three CEOs in seven years does not make the situation of SAPO any better and neither does the fact that the Department of Communications has had four different ministers during the same period.
In 2006 SAPO had a goal of double-digit profit growth, which is still far from becoming a reality.
SAPO has nothing less than a moral obligation to take the striking workers into full time employ, and bring the strike to a speedy end.