Strike costs Post Office R350m

Sapo says it will continue discussions with unions to find a lasting solution to the labour unrest.

FILE: Sapo says it will take just over three weeks to clear mountains of mail. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Post Office (Sapo) says it will continue discussions with unions to find a lasting solution to the labour unrest at the parastatal.

The four-month long strike, which was suspended by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) yesterday, brought the state entity to its knees.

The financially-strapped organisation says it's lost over R350 million in revenue due to the strike.

The post office's Lungile Lose says the organisation is now fully operational following the suspension of the strike.

Lose says they believe labour representatives will play a pivotal role in helping to rebuild the organisation.

"We will continue to engage not only on the staff but also on turning the company around."

Sapo says it will take just over three weeks to clear mountains of mail.

Earlier, the parastatal's Simo Lushaba told Eyewitness News while they're encouraged by the end of the strike, they will no longer tolerate any interruptions to its operations by wildcat strikers.

He said a sustainable Sapo is only possible in a harmonious and collaborative labour relations environment.

Meanwhile, the CWU says it will continue pursuing a 7.5 percent wage hike and fight for casual employees to be made permanent.

The decision by the union to put the strike on hold followed an ultimatum from Sapo management demanding that employees return to work or face being fired.

CWU's Clyde Mervin said it will continue talks with the parastatal, and if a final agreement cannot be reached, it will continue with the strike in January.

"If a final agreement isn't reached, we'll have a full blown strike by January."