Six South African Post Office employees who took part in the illegal strike that crippled postal operations in 2014 have been convicted of contempt of court.
This was following their failure to adhere to an interdict prohibiting them from participating in activities which impeded the company’s services to customers.
The SA Post Office, under the leadership of Administrator Dr Simo Lushaba, is in pursuit of sustainable ways to clamp down on strikes that have plagued its operations for some time.
“These employees have since been convicted to 12 months imprisonment each or a fine of R6 000 by the Pretoria Criminal Court. Their internal disciplinary hearings are still pending,” the Post Office said in a statement.
The SA Post Office said various other cases involving their employees’ illegal actions that affected its operations during last year’s long strike have been lodged with the police and investigations are underway.
“We envisage that some of these cases will inevitably result in more arrests and corresponding internal processes,” the Post Office said.
About 100 employees are to be internally charged for the disruption of operations on 15 January 2015 at Cape Mail. They will be charged according to the disciplinary code as well as the Postal Services Act.
The SA Police Service has also arrested 12 SA Post Office employees for wildcat disruptions which occurred on 19 January. Some of these employees had participated in the incidents of 15 January at Cape Mail.
They have appeared in court and are currently on bail pending a hearing which has been set for February 2015.
Eight employees in Bloemfontein are currently suspended for criminal charges which include assault, indecent assault and intimidation. Their internal disciplinary hearings are pending and will be concluded within the next 14 days.
“As a responsible service provider, we have an obligation to ensure consequence management for a conduct which is inconsistent with our code of conduct and the laws of the country.
“The strike in question resulted in the near implosion of the state asset,” Lushaba said.
He said they have an obligation to play their role in ensuring that SA Post Office remains a sustainable business and that their customers receive reliable services.
“I believe that our internal channels are open enough to cater for the resolution of all grievances in order to obviate the need to embark on any action which will compromise our services to our customers.
“We will continue to take action against any employees whose actions unduly disrupt our services or overstep the laws of the country or the rights of anyone associated with our business.
“In particular, we will not have any leniency whatsoever to acts of intimidation or damage to the SA Post Office property that we witnessed during the previous strike,” said Lushaba.
Disruption of postal services and operations stand in direct contravention of various applicable sections of Chapter 8 of the Postal Services Act. Employees who partake in the disruption of postal operations will face criminal charges in terms of the Act.
The company also said it remains committed to the current on-going dialogue with unions to achieve a meeting of minds on any outstanding issues emanating from past strikes, including any other discussion points that may arise as a result of the initiatives currently underway implemented at the behest of the administration process.
Source : SAnews.gov.za