SABC employees will take to the streets and hand over a memorandum of demands to the government at Union Buildings on Wednesday over retrenchments at the public broadcaster.
In November, the cash-strapped SABC issued retrenchment letters to about 400 employees in a bid to save about R7000-million a year for the next three years. This resulted in a blackout as staff refused to go on air in light of the looming retrenchments at the public broadcaster.
The Labour Court in Johannesburg also ruled that Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU)’s urgent application to oppose the decision to retrench workers was dismissed with costs in December.
On January 7, the public broadcaster announced that it had concluded its Section 189 process after it had suspended the execution of the process in November to enable management to further engage directly with employees on the proposed structures.
“After considering all options to minimise the total number of affected employees, the SABC has further reduced the number of affected redundant employees to 303 – just under half of the originally projected 600 redundancies,” the SABC said in a statement.
Unions at the SABC, including Communication Workers Union (CWU) and BEMAWU, are unhappy with the ongoing process. As a result, the members of the unions have vowed to march in Pretoria today to hand over a memorandum of demands to the government in a joint protest action.
CWU General-Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala told The Star that the union served a notice to strike to the public broadcaster on Friday. The general-secretary said the unions’ main demand is for SABC to stop the retrenchment process.