SABC, unions meeting over retrenchments postponed

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South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) management and the unions have postponed their scheduled consultation on retrenchments to Tuesday because the facilitator is not available today.

The parties are at loggerheads over the public broadcaster’s plans to cut up to 400 permanent jobs.

Management and the unions have been engaging on the SABC’s restructuring plans that it says is required to make the organisation financially sustainable.

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) has expressed concern over the SABC’s push to conclude consultations by the end of the month.

The union says the SABC has been unwilling to compromise even though the independent facilitator had also suggested that the consultation period is too short.

Bemawu spokesperson Hannes du Buisson says: “The meeting was supposed to continue today under the facilitation of the independent facilitator Adv Campanella. There was a discussion last week, in particular, certain parties were not available, but made them available. It seems there was a slight misunderstanding on the side of the facilitator, and he thought that the meeting would not continue today. So the meeting was postponed until tomorrow when he will attend.”

Pickets, redundancy letters

Throughout last month, SABC staff across the country picketed against the broadcaster’s restructuring plans that could see over 400 staff members retrenched.

The broadcaster had already started issuing redundancy letters to some staff members.

In a strong display of solidarity, some News Division staff members gathered at the Auckland Park office where they condemned SABC management over the issuing of redundancy letters.

Staff demanded answers for what they called the decimation of Africa’s largest newsroom.

They also accused the SABC News boss of introducing a new newsroom structure without consultation:

Political parties and other stakeholders have also condemned some of the restructuring measures.

In the video below, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says retrenchments should be the last resort: