SABC Faces a Full-scale Strike Threat from CWU

Despite multiple meetings over four months, the salary issue between the SABC and the Communications Workers Union remains unresolved. SABC faces a full-scale strike threat from CWU.

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SABC Faces a Full-scale Strike Threat from CWU

The CWU accepted the 6% offer but insisted that it be backdated to April of last year. As a result, the parties were unable to agree to the backdating of the agreed increment from April 2023.

In an attempt to settle the conflict, the union has appealed to the parliament’s portfolio committee on communications and new technologies. They are also threatening a full-scale pay strike at the cash-strapped public broadcaster, which would affect how the 2019 elections are covered.

In an interview with TechCentral, CWU national bargaining coordinator Nathen Bowers stated that the union has been in negotiations with the SABC since July 2023 and had thought that the impasse would be broken this month with the appointment of Nomsa Chabeli as CEO.

Workers No Doubt Want to Proceed with The Strike

The default picketing guidelines were released by the CCMA on March 8; however, before a certificate of non-resolution can be granted, both parties must sign them.

For us, a strike is the last option, according to Bowers. “We have been to the CCMA to get the picketing rules signed off, which has not happened yet, and we have warned that this needs to happen as soon as possible.”

“But the workers are resolute. They want to go on strike and there is no question that if this is not resolved by the time of the general meeting next week, they will go on strike and disrupt the general elections campaign that is in full swing right now.”

The workers are resolute, and there is no doubt that they will do so to disrupt the ongoing general election campaign.

The Deadlock Must be Overcome to Ensure the Best Possible Business Continuity

He expressed sympathy for the South African population, but said, “We sympathize with the public of South Africa, but if workers are not afforded an increase over three years and then demand a backdate and they are treated like dirt by the SABC, the SABC workers have no alternative but to bring the SABC to its knees during this election campaign.”

As stated by the public broadcaster, it has been open and honest about its financial difficulties.

While it acknowledged that the current deadlock must be overcome to assure the best possible business continuity, it stated that it is currently confronted with challenging circumstances that prevent the organization from operating fully.



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