CWU considers strike action over possible SABC retrenchments

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it is considering strike action over possible retrenchments at the SABC. The SABC, in its June Section 189 notice, said that as many as 600 full time workers could be retrenched.

Labour union, Bemawu, says it is likely to approach the Labour Court this week after the SABC failed to respond to its letter of demand by Saturday midday. The unions have accused the SABC of unreasonably refusing them an extension to the labour consultation process.

CWU General Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala, says the union’s members are planning on embarking on industrial action.

“Absolutely, that is what we are looking into. We have been having discussions and we can confirm as labour movement that we need to take industrial action. The SABC management refused to engage in discussions. They presented a corporate plan which was questioned, but they don’t respond to the questions that have been raised. In the new structure that they presented, it appears that it is no longer a cutting cost exercise, but you can see that the structure will be bloated at the top and the staff are at entry level.”

Trade union, Bemawu, said on Sunday it is considering heading to the Labour Court.

The SABC missed the union’s deadline for a request for the public broadcaster to return to the negotiating table.

“No response at all, we checked last night with the lawyers, so not even a courtesy response from the SABC to say they have received the letter and that they will reply by any time. So it seems we are heading to the Labour Court and we will be drafting papers today and we will serve that by tomorrow and we hope to be there within the next few days in court,” said Bemawu President, Hannes du Buisson.