Workers’ unions at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) and Communications Worker’s Union (CWU) will on Wednesday morning meet and write a letter to management asking for further engagement as a last resort to avert a possible strike.
This follows the public broadcaster’s issuing of redundancy and surplus letters to staff after the conclusion of the Section 189 consultation process last month.
The SABC says it has reduced the number of employees who will be affected from 600 to just over 300.
The public broadcaster says it has to reduce the wage bill to make the organisation financially sustainable.
BEMAWU president Hannes du Buisson says they are making efforts to avoid labour unrest at the SABC.
“We are having that meeting at 11am this morning (Tuesday). On the agenda is a letter to the Board and the SABC in a last attempt to avert a full-blown strike at the SABC to sit around the table with the SABC and the Board to discuss certain very critical issues that came out in the structure and the fact that the process was not followed as was suggested by the facilitator.”
Last year, employees at Auckland Park offices confronted management over the looming retrenchments and upon hearing that some of the most experienced staffers had been served with notices of dismissal.
In the video below, employees raise their grievances:
Section 189 suspension
In November, the SABC Board suspended the Section-189 process at the broadcaster, for another 30 days.
File video: Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says she cannot get involved in the Section 189 process as it is an operational matter:
File video: SABC Board Chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini says the board decisions on Section 189 still stands: