The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has threatened to down tools on Friday, 20 March 2020, should the South African Post Office (SAPO) fail to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement on Thursday, 19 March 2020, the Communication Workers Union noted that the South African Post Office had not addressed the current pandemic, nor had it taken necessary measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. After having written to relevant stakeholders about the threats posed by COVID-19 on 10 March 2020, SAPO acknowledged receipt, but to date, has failed to introduce any safety measures against COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, 18 March 2020, CWU gave SAPO until the end of the business day on Friday, 20 March 2020, to equip its employees with basic tools, such as disposable gloves, hand sanitizers and wipes, to mitigate the spread of the virus. The union noted that should SAPO fail to heed this call by the end of the business day, it would instruct its members not to report for work until SAPO addresses the issue. CWU noted that its communique to companies, in which it organises, asked employers to educate employees about the immediate threats posed by the virus at workplaces.
SAPO applauded the companies that responded positively and who were proactive in dealing with the crisis. CWU stated that it fears that should “citizens of this country and the world fail to arrest the spread of this epidemic, it will have dire consequences on the health system and the global economy.”