Bemawu expects a fresh mandate by Monday on looming SABC retrenchments

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The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) says it could have a fresh mandate from its members by Monday on the imminent job cuts at the SABC.
Bemawu and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are currently engaging their members after the SABC indicated that it’s going ahead with the retrenchment of just over 300 permanent workers.
“We have consulted members on two possibilities: one being strike, the other one to refer at the end of this process when a member loses his or her job, an unfair retrenchment to the Labour Court. It seems at this point in time, the overwhelming majority of members indicated that they would prefer a strike, however, we have not consulted with all members, we should be in a position to have a firm mandate from members,” says Bemawu spokesperson, Hannes du Buisson.
The unions say the SABC management had been unwilling to compromise during an extended consultation process that ended last month.
However, the public broadcaster maintains it had been fair and that the process would withstand legal scrutiny.
The SABC says it has reduced the number of employees who face retrenchment from 600 to 303.

It says the final number of redundancies depends on staff accepting alternatives that have been proposed such as a three-year salary freeze and a reduction in annual and sick leave.

The final number of staff to be cut also depends on the number of employees who will opt for voluntary severance packages and early retirement.

SABC pressing ahead with its restructuring plans: