SABC has failed to explain restructuring plan, refused response to questions

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) says the SABC has failed to explain its restructuring plan and refused to respond to the union’s questions during a meeting that took place with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) recently.

The union says the SABC had walked out of the meeting after being asked to provide reasons for top-level vacancies in the restructuring plan. The CWU has also reiterated that it will fight to prevent retrenchments at the public broadcaster.

The union, along with the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers’ Union (BEMAWU), approached the Labour Court to prevent the SABC from going ahead with the retrenchments.

CWU General-Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala says proper procedures have not been followed.

“They are the ones who walked out of the meeting two weeks ago refusing to answer questions. They accused us of delaying the process purely because we asking questions. If you enter into Section 189, before you can make alternative inputs, you have to be clear as to what is this rationale all about, where it’s gonna cut costs, where it’s gonna save jobs and you then make input so they’ve refused that. And now they say they’ve gone the extra mile by walking out of the meeting, then write to us letters to say you can therefore make your alternative input,” says Tshabalala.

Tshabalala says if the SABC issues any retrenchment notices before the end of the week, it will approach the court to seek an urgent interdict.

“The papers have been served. It’s the court that will have to make a decision by next week Wednesday so it will be a violation of the proceedings itself if they do that by sometime this week. We’ll wait in anticipation of that but if they do that we will have to approach the court on an urgent basis in dealing with that particular question,” says Tshabalala.