CWU considers taking SABC to Labour Court over retrenchments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) says it is considering heading to the Labour Court to challenge the looming retrenchments at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The SABC plans to retrench 600 permanent staff and terminate the contracts of over 1 000 freelancers.

On Thursday, unions met with the public broadcaster under the auspices of the CCMA.

CWU says the entire Section 189 process is flawed.

The Union’s General-Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala says, “We have tabled the matter before our lawyers, they are the ones now who are going to handle the matter. We are going to challenge the entire process because the entire process is flawed. They went to the Department to inform the Department about the new structure. When we raised this matter on the eve of the CCMA, they sent a one paragraph to staff to say that they must disregard what was said to them up until unions are consulted, so it’s sheer arrogance, it’s undermining. We are going to defend workers’ rights.”

In the video below, SABC unions threaten court action over consultation process about retrenchments:

Executive appears before Parliament

Appearing before Parliament’s Communications Committee a week after issuing the notice, Chief Financial Officer Yolande van Biljon said that the corporation’s salary bill needs to be tackled. Van Biljon has told the committee that the public broadcaster has to do what is necessary, even if it is very painful.

In the video below, Biljon gives reasons behind issuing of Section 189:

SABC appear before Committee on Communications

Last week, the Board and management appeared before the committee where they were sent packing by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications after being accused of lying and failing to answer questions put before it by lawmakers.

The committee accused the Board of lying on issues such as skills audits, consultations with the unions, and other stakeholders.

Other committee members called for Section 189 to be dropped.

In the video below, SABC Board and management appear before the Communications Committee: 

In the video below, last week, unions and the SABC Editorial Forum addressed the Parliament’s Communications Committee in a virtual sitting: