Bemawu upbeat ahead of SABC Board meeting

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The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) says it hopes that Friday’s SABC Board meeting to consider proposals aimed at avoiding a jobs bloodbath at the public broadcaster will yield positive results.

The SABC Board has requested more time until Friday following a meeting between Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, her Employment and Labour counterpart, Thulas Nxesi, the unions and themselves over the public broadcaster’s plan to retrench over 300 workers.

The meeting followed threats of a blackout by unions that have been demanding an end to the unfolding retrenchment process.

Bemawu President Hannes du Buisson says they are optimistic that most of the jobs will be saved.

“I think that the Board will consider some of those proposals, we hope that they will do that. If that is not going to happen, this issue will end up in the Labour Court if any of our members would lose their jobs,” adds Du Buisson.

Last week workers embarked on a strike:

Ndabeni-Abrahams says both she and Nxesi have maintained, during the meetings, that all available avenues must be explored in order to mitigate the impact on workers.

She adds that this is also in light of the tough economic conditions due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister says they have put forward a number of alternative proposals for the unions and the SABC to consider and explore.

She says the SABC Board has committed to discussing the proposals at Friday’s meeting.

Ndabeni-Abrahams says they have noted signs of progress and goodwill among the parties at the negotiating table.