Judgment in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) case brought by union BEMAWU will be handed down on Wednesday next week.
BEMAWU legal representative, Senior Counsel Omphemetse Mooki asked the Labour Court in Johannesburg to grant an order for the SABC to withdraw redundancy letters and engage in a fair process.
He challenged the SABC to produce evidence that it consulted with unions on the selection criteria for the new structure as well as the decision on severance packages.
Advocate Mooki argued that the SABC had failed to engage in a fair consultation before issuing the letters.
“So the issues my lord are pressing. It’s not only a matter that we don’t know why we are here because we’ve given you an undertaking the SABC are not good on their word. We would ask my lord that the court grant an order obliging the SABC to engage in a fair procedure, and secondly an order that the termination letters be withdrawn.”
He has argued that the application for an interdict to stop retrenchments at the SABC is in fact an urgent matter.
Mooki says the urgency is created by the termination letters which the SABC has issued before the conclusion of consultation processes with unions.
He says the SABC also demonstrated inconsistency when it presented two different structures in two consultation meetings held in October.
Mooki says the SABC has been acting in bad faith.
“There was another consultation process on that day the SABC presented another structure which it was proposing. When the parties met on the 16th they get presented with a completely different structure later. That is not consultation my lord.”
CWU members on strike
The public broadcaster’s employees affiliated to another union, the CWU, have already embarked on a strike. Yesterday COSATU briefed the media in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
General secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, “The fact that very little has been done to fix the issues raised by the Auditor- General and that some of these institutions like SABC are pushing for retrenchments is offensive and scandalous. Government needs to work with labour and business to develop clear road maps to take these SOEs out of ICU, reposition them to adjust to the changes taking place in their sectors and enable them to get back on a sustainable trajectory.”
Cosatu reiterates its full support for SABC employees: