South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) workers say they are stressed out due to an uncertain future as retrenchments loom.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) vowed to intensify their strike if the SABC does not respond to their demands by midday.
The SABC has suspended the issuing of redundancy letters until the end of December to allow for further consultation.
Workers rejected the SABC board’s decision to extend the retrenchment process by 30 days.
The workers picketed on Friday outside the premises of the SABC’s Auckland Park headquarters.
“As you can imagine our livelihoods are on the line here. Some of us have been here for the past 15 years, and for the past four years every time this time of the year we are outside here, either picketing for an increment or picketing to save our jobs.”
Last this time we were out here protesting and trying to save our jobs. This year we are out again-when is it going to end. We are having sleepless nights.”
“How do you begin to explain the amount of stress we are dealing with. It is quite demoralizing because of the situation that is happing at this stage. Job losses is affecting us.”
Cosatu reiterates its full support for SABC employees:
Meanwhile on FridayBEMAWU 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grant an order obliging the SABC to engage in a fair procedure, and secondly an order that the termination letters be withdrawn.”
Consultations continue between SABC unions, management and staff:
He has argued that the application for an interdict to stop retrenchments at the SABC is in fact an urgent matter.
Mooki said the urgency is created by the termination letters which the SABC has issued before the conclusion of consultation processes with unions.
He said the SABC also demonstrated inconsistency when it presented two different structures in two consultation meetings held in October.
Mooki said 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.”
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)