The Communications Workers Union (CWU) says its proposed Friday termination of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will continue despite the public broadcaster board issuing a statement Friday morning stating that the Withdrawal will be suspended for seven days to allow all interested parties to engage further.
CWU Secretary General Aubrey Shabalala said last night’s board meeting, which resulted in the temporary suspension of the return process was just a discussion only among board members.
Shabalala said the union only learned of the decision to suspend the withdrawal process through a press release issued Friday morning.
Shabalala said Section 189 was “a very legal process” and if the board were genuine in their response they would have followed the proper processes to respond to the issues in question and engage all relevant stakeholders. .
“We do not even know what the seven days inform,” Shabalala said.
Shabalala said if the board were “good”, the union and all stakeholders would have been called to a meeting to discuss the decision to temporarily suspend the withdrawal process, as well as the reasons that informed it.
The union strike will continue on Friday, with the SABC shutdown expected at 12:00, Shabalala said.
The CWU has called on all its members, those of other unions and non-union staff, to consider calling for a job-saving strike.
Shabalala said the CWU expected a good turn at its milestones at various SABC points, with the main milestone in Auckland Park, where at 1pm speakers were expected to give their addresses and at 1.30pm, a memorandum of requests surrender.
Shabalala said the current proposed structure “undermines the pillars of our democracy” and does not respect indigenous languages because he proposed, for example, that current affairs in Tshivenda and Xitsonga be stopped.
Cutting jobs such as those of content producers, editors, field workers, researchers and journalists would be “cutting the production base” at SABC, which would force the broadcaster to now buy content elsewhere. tha Shabalala.
Shabalala said if SABC bought content from other sources, the argument that reconferencing was a way to cut costs then “falls”.
In his financial statement, the broadcaster had badly called for some employees who had excessive leave, however, Shabalala said there were human resource processes to deal with such issues.
The CWU has two main requirements, first, that the broadcaster immediately recall all discharge letters that have been issued and second, that the corporate plan and withdrawal process should be abandoned.
Shabalala said the union was not against a restructuring process but wanted a process that would not result in job losses.
All SABC broadcast platforms, including radio and television, will be blacked out, Shabalala said.
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