Bemawu seeks for interdict over SABC retrenchments

About 600 permanent SABC workers could lose their jobs after the CCMA facilitated talks failed to reach an agreement.

Labour union BEMAWU has approached the Labour Court seeking an interdict to stop the SABC from going ahead with its planned retrenchment of staff.

The hearing relating to the application will be heard in the Labour Court in Johannesburg next Wednesday.  About 600 permanent workers could lose their jobs after the CCMA facilitated talks failed to reach an agreement.

BEMAWU’s Hannes Du Buisson says, “The application before the Labour Court, we will request the court to direct or order the SABC to return to the consultation process and properly consult on all the outstanding issues in particular. Should the SABC wish to terminate the employment of our members at the SABC that they be restrained to do so.”

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it is considering strike action over possible retrenchments at the SABC.

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 a 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.”

Planning systems

Last week, the SABC management said it is working on improving its planning systems to ensure that the organisation is financially stable. This followed engagement between SABC management and Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), which visited the public broadcaster’s head office in Auckland Park, in Johannesburg, to get first-hand information on the financial affairs of the organisation.

The committee said there are discrepancies in the information provided by SABC management and the data in the company’s annual financial statement.