Unions representing workers at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) say the strike action and expected blackout at the SABC will continue on Friday as the latest move by the board is immaterial.

The public broadcaster began its process of retrenchment and letters have been issued to staff informing them that their positions are either redundant or that they are considered surplus and have to reapply for their jobs.

The retrenchment process affects 400 permanent workers. The Board of the SABC has suspended the retrenchment process for a period of seven days in order to allow all stakeholders to engage and explore further options.

The Communications Worker’s Union’s (CWU) Aubrey Tshabalala says the board’s move is just a smoke screen.

“This simply means nothing after seven days when the dust has settled they can proceed. We have demands and they are simple, withdraw all dismissal letters with immediate effect with no condition of seven days or so forth, abandon the section 189 completely so whatever happens in ungodly hours we are not involved we see they have spoken to the public they have never spoken to us we are the ones having a dispute. We are soldiering on there is a complete blackout we are calling on all workers to embark on action in defence of SABC in defence of workers. “

Bemawu

However, the Broadcasting Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) says its members may not take part as they have interdicted the SABC in the labour court.

They will, however, continue engaging in lunchtime pickets.

In the video below, Bemawu President Hannes Du Buisson says if members take part in the strike it will still be protected for them:

Picket

On Thursday, SABC employees across the country embarked on a lunchtime picket outside the public broadcaster’s offices protesting looming retrenchments.

Political parties and unions joined workers.