CWU considers strike action over possible SABC retrenchments

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The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it is considering strike action over possible retrenchments at the SABC. The SABC, in its June Section 189 notice, said that as many as 600 full time workers could be retrenched.

Labour union, Bemawu, says it is likely to approach the Labour Court this week after the SABC failed to respond to its letter of demand by Saturday midday.

The unions have accused the SABC of unreasonably refusing them an extension to the labour consultation process.

Bemawu elaborates on the issue in the video below:

CWU General Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala, says the union’s members are planning on embarking on industrial action.

“Absolutely, that is what we are looking into. We have been having discussions and we can confirm as labour movement that we need to take industrial action. The SABC management refused to engage in discussions. They presented a corporate plan which was questioned, but they don’t respond to the questions that have been raised. In the new structure that they presented, it appears that it is no longer a cutting cost exercise, but you can see that the structure will be bloated at the top and the staff are at entry level.”

Bemawu to approach Labour Court

Trade union, Bemawu, said on Sunday it is considering heading to the Labour Court.

The SABC missed the union’s deadline for a request for the public broadcaster to return to the negotiating table.

“No response at all, we checked last night with the lawyers, so not even a courtesy response from the SABC to say they have received the letter and that they will reply by any time. So it seems we are heading to the Labour Court and we will be drafting papers today and we will serve that by tomorrow and we hope to be there within the next few days in court,” said Bemawu President, Hannes du Buisson.

Planning systems

On Saturday, the SABC mamagement said it is working on improving its planning systems to ensure that the organisation is financially stable. This followed engagement between SABC management and Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), which visited the public broadcaster’s head office in Auckland Park, in Johannesburg, to get first-hand information on the financial affairs of the organisation.

The committee said there are discrepancies in the information provided by SABC management and the data in the company’s annual financial statement.

Scopa identifies possible cause of irregular and wasteful expenditure at the SABC:

The public broadcaster said it would improve from an SCM point of view.

“We certainly have to improve from a SCM point of view but at the same time we need to be mindful of continuing with business continuity. We are now working on improving our systems from a planning point of view.”

“There’s consequence management and it’s interesting because we are being blamed for being very harsh on consequence management and I can give you an example. From July 2018 to date we have had over 256 disciplinary processes that link to some of the issues you have raised,” said SABC Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe.

CWU accuses SABC management of arrogance: