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'All SABC staff will down tools at 1pm and it will obviously affect programming'

20 November 2020 7:32 AM
Tags:
SABC
retrenchments
SABC Strike

Clyde Mervin of the Communication Workers Union explains what action will be undertaken today in the face of retrenchments.

The SABC, South Africa's national broadcaster is in dire financial straits and restructuring is crucial to its survival. But staff say seeing 400 of their colleagues lose their jobs is unacceptable and a new plan has to be put on the table.

Staff reacted with anger at the issuing of section 189 notices.

The planned retrenchments have therefore been placed on hold for seven days as the Communication Workers Union threatened strike action.

Clyde Mervin of the Communication Workers Union speaks to Refilwe Moloto about strike action SABC staff are expected to embark on to protest some 400 job cuts.

They want to suspend the process for seven days but we want them to withdraw the whole process.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

Mervin says the SABC has changed its rationale for restructuring three times which he believes is not fair.

It needs to be a sound rationale.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

We have given them our own input around alternatives, a 120-page document which we believe would mean they do not have to undertake this process of retrenchment.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

He says management changed the retrenchment numbers from 600 to 400.

But if you look at some of the places they are creating vacancies for certain people. We are saying the structure is bloated at the top, and they are not dealing with that.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

Executive salaries are huge. The board fees are a lot.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

They have been spending R6 million just on catering for board meetings and meetings of executives.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

SABC management has told the union that it plans to cut workers' salaries, freeze salary increases for three years, and finally cutting staff leave days.

The strike starts at 1 o'clock. Obviously it will affect programming.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

All staff are going to down tools.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

He says the strike at SABC in Auckland Park, Johannesburg will include the ANC, ANC Youth League, EFF, and various other political parties.

It's going to be a big show today.

Clyde Mervin, President - Communication Workers Union

Listen to the interview below:


20 November 2020 7:32 AM
Tags:
SABC
retrenchments
SABC Strike

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