BEMAWU unhappy with SABC’s conduct during extended consultation process

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The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) is again crying foul over the manner in which the SABC has been conducting the extended consultation process on its plans to retrench up to 400 permanent staff as part of its restructuring.

BEMAWU says the SABC concluded the process on Tuesday by directing unions to make their final written submissions before December 31.

The SABC has already issued letters of redundancy to some employees.

However, the issuing of letter was put on hold for a month to allow the parties to discuss possible alternatives to retrenchments.

BEMAWU president Hannes du Buisson says although they believe the process has been unfair, they’ll still make whatever submissions they can make under the circumstances.

“The SABC today [on Tuesday] finished its presentation on selection criteria, severance pay and date of dismissal, alternatives, without giving labour the opportunity to meet with its members to seek input from employees to seek a mandate. [The SABC is] merely indicating that we should use the time wisely. So, we believe that there’s no fair process followed by the SABC in this Section 189 process,” explains Du Buisson.

Pickets, redundancy letters

Throughout last month, SABC staff across the country picketed against the broadcaster’s restructuring plans that could see over 400 staff members retrenched.

The broadcaster had already started issuing redundancy letters to some staff members.

In a strong display of solidarity, some News Division staff members gathered at the Auckland Park office where they condemned SABC management over the issuing of redundancy letters.

Staff demanded answers for what they called the decimation of Africa’s largest newsroom.

In the video below, workers also accused the SABC News boss of introducing a new newsroom structure without consultation: