Unpaid salaries: union mulling action against Denel
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THE United Associations of South Africa (Uasa) is still mulling an action plan after acting Labour Court Judge Moses Baloyi postponed its case against weapons manufacturer Denel to December 2, to allow the state-owned enterprise (SOE) to comply in full with the court order.
This is as the state arms manufacturer has to date failed to specify how it plans to meet its contractual obligations to employees and how it will compensate them for work done.
Most of the parastatal’s employees in various divisions have not been paid since May last year.
The union took legal action against Denel last year after it did not comply with a court order to deal with outstanding employment contractual matters for May, June and July last year, namely Pay As You Earn, Unemployment Insurance Fund and pension/provident fund payments, on behalf of union members.
Judge Baloyi ruled that Denel’s non-compliance needed further judicial supervision to ensure that the court order was implemented.
Uasa’s legal representative argued that the judicial supervision should remain as Denel had not complied with the court order for more than a year. Baloyi ordered Denel to file an affidavit setting out the steps taken to comply with the court order 10 days before the December 2 court date.
Many workers at the SOE have not been paid in full or at all since May 2020, and while the company still expects workers to report for duty, it has shown little progress towards finding a solution to the crisis.
“Uasa will continue to fight for the rights of its members employed at Denel until justice is served. Uasa will do its level best to make sure that Denel pays what they owe our members,” the union said yesterday.
Uasa says Denel has not taken Uasa into its confidence as to how it intends to resolve its financial and liquidity issues, despite members bending over backwards to accommodate the SOE.
“How Denel still expects workers to report for duty is beyond imagination. Many of the affected workers are breadwinners with bills to pay and families to feed but are prohibited from doing so because Denel continues to fail them on paydays,” Uasa said.