Labour Court dismisses Bemawu’s bid to have SABC redundancy letters retracted

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The Labour Court in Johannesburg has dismissed the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) application to compel the SABC to retract redundancy letters issued as part of its restructuring process.

The union had also wanted the public broadcaster to engage in a fair process regarding its restructuring plans which could see as many as 400 permanent staff members lose their jobs.

The SABC has argued that the restructuring is necessary to make the public broadcaster financially sustainable.

SABC management has defended its restructuring plans, saying Bemawu’s court application is not urgent, as the retrenchment process has been put on hold until the end of December.

It also argued that it has significantly managed to reduce the number of employees who’ll be retrenched from 600 to 400.

The trade union says the SABC failed to engage in a fair consultation process before issuing termination letters.

President of the union Hannes du Buisson has described the judgment as disappointing, but says it is by no means the end of the road

We are obviously very disappointed about the fact that the application has been dismissed and we think that the court did not have a proper and full understanding of the matter. The court has said in its brief after scanning through the judgment that we did not put the entire consultation process and all of those minutes which we requested from the SABC, but did not provide to us. We did not put that before the court and we think that on the basis of that, the court did not have that particular record of the consultation process.

Below is the video of the Labour Court handing down judgment: