Bemawu concerned about SABC’s push to soon conclude retrenchment consultations

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Trade union, Bemawu, has expressed concern over the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s push to conclude consultations over its planned retrenchments by the end of December.

The union says the SABC has been unwilling to compromise even though the independent facilitator had also suggested that the consultation period is too short.

Bemawu’s Hannes du Buisson says they had to plead with the facilitator not to quit the process.

The public broadcaster’s restructuring could see up to 400 permanent staff lose their jobs. The SABC says this is necessary to make the organisation financially sustainable.

The SABC has already issued letters of redundancy and surplus to some affected staff.

Unions intend to stall retrenchment process:


Du Buisson says they’re meeting SABC management on Monday and he hopes that they’ll be more accommodating.

“The SABC COO has yesterday indicated in a meeting that we will not be afforded a proper opportunity to consult with members. He wants us to consult as from today until the 31st of December, with employees and members that are currently on leave, not online, that have switched off their cell-phone, that are unreachable, on holiday. We believe that’s unfair. That’s not the way to conduct a consultation process.”

Labour Court decision

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Bemawu said it would be filing court papers in the Labour Court to appeal a ruling in favour of the SABC over its plans to retrench as many as 400 permanent employees.

Labour court dismisses Bemawu’s urgent application against job cuts at the SABC:

Early in December, the Labour Court dismissed Bemawu’s urgent application for the public broadcaster to retract redundancy letters issued to affected staff.

In its court application, Bemawu argued that the court had erred in finding that the SABC had engaged inadequate consultation with the concerned parties. The union indicated that the judge was not taking into account that some employees had already been given notice of dismissal by the time the matter was heard.