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Strike planned for communications sector

Aug 17 2011 13:58

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Johannesburg - There will be a total shutdown of services at Telkom [JSE:TKG] and the Post Office if demands by workers are not met, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said on Wednesday in Johannesburg.

A mass action by 23 000 is planned for the first week of September, CWU deputy president Clyde Mervin said.

"We are prepared to move on issues as a matter of urgency," Mervin said.

Notice of strike action will be served just after August 25.

The CWU is demanding the immediate suspension of SA Post Office (Sapo) chief executive Motswanesi Lefoka and chief operating officer John Wentzel, who are being investigated for alleged corruption.

If the call is not met, "we will take to the streets, and demand for their dismissal", Mervin said.

Sapo's board on Monday announced that an investigation into the new Sapo head office building revealed that it had spent R19m prior to renting out of the new building at Eco Point in Centurion.

It was now trying to recover this money. An additional R425m was spent on the 10-year-lease, an amount the Sapo board deemed an "irregular expenditure".

Mervin accused board chairperson Vuyo Mahlati of "defending" some within Sapo's top executive managers.

The CWU was tied in a meeting with the Sapo board on Wednesday over the "lease bungle" and the issue was not yet finalised. Details on this will be divulged later on Wednesday, he said following the press conference.

A wage dispute was also reached with Sapo, which is offering an "insulting, peanuts" increase of 6.2%. The CWU is demanding 11%, and there is "no turning back" on this, he said.

The union will go to the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for feedback on negotiations.

Telkom has offered workers a 5% wage increment, but the union was also demanding 11% in this instance, he said.

A wage dispute with workers at communications company Trudon has also been declared. That company has proposed a 6% increase for workers, but the demand is for 9%.

"We will negotiate with them on the street," he said.

"The result is the picketing bedlam that has become a normal part of strikes."

cwu  |  telkom  |  sapo  |  strikes


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