The Communications Workers Union says it will use Friday’s consultative meeting with SABC management to seek clarity on the retrenchments and the public broadcaster’s turnaround strategy.

The union wants the SABC to explain the rationale behind its planned staff retrenchments.

The union, like its counterpart BEMAWU has confirmed receiving a Section 189 notice of the Labour Relations Act from the SABC relating to the planned retrenchment of an unspecified number of workers.

This is part of the SABC’s restructuring plan. The public broadcaster has cited an unsustainably high salary bill as the reason for reducing the headcount.

CWU general-secretary Aubrey Tshabalala says the trade union movement was not involved in the SABC turnaround strategy and the are areas where the unions think there could be a number of things that can be put on the table to salvage the situation.

He says: “We believe that as a trade union movement we have made a number of proposals that can enable the SABC to deal with this current situation. We are not going to agree to the proposal of retrenchment of workers while the SABC has a huge task to deliver on the public mandate.”