Labour federation, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has announced its support for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in its fight against planned retrenchments at the the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The federation has denounced what they call the SABC Board’s determined intentions to retrench employees, despite calls from government for them to look for alternate solutions.

The CWU and BEMAWU are due to meet with the SABC management on Friday to seek clarity on the public broadcaster’s turnaround strategy.

The Cosatu says the SABC Board should be removed if it cannot come up with creative ways of stabilising the public broadcaster without retrenching staff.

The labour federation says government should intervene to prevent job losses.

BEMAWU says the notice of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act relating to planned retrenchments – sent to unions by the SABC, is defective due to missing information.

Cosatu says it will request an urgent meeting with government to discuss the SABC matter.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says President Cyril Ramaphosa must keep to his promise made at the job summit that there will be no retrenchments in state owned enterprises.

“This new board was given a mandate to turn around the SABC because it was the previous board and senior managers who messed up the SABC. Our position is very clear. They need to come up with ideas working with government as a shareholder to turn around the public broadcaster without really passing the buck to workers. Workers were never involved in the process of dismantling and looting SABC and workers are not going to pay that price,” says Pamla.

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