Sowetan Journalists downed tools against their employer Tiso Black Star Group. at The Hill on Empire, Johannesburg. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/ African News Agency (ANA)

The workers are expected to picket again today. Earlier this week, employees from Cell C protested outside Tiso’s offices in Parktown, in solidarity with the media company’s employees. 

Cell C employees are also striking over the non-payment of bonuses. 

The two sets of employees belong to the same union, the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU). ICTU president Moeketsi Lepheana said 161 workers were protesting in the Gauteng region. “We achieved what we wanted to achieve. 

“On Monday, there will be a complete shutdown and our demands still stand. “We hope our members won’t cover the elections next week. “It is a positive and peaceful protest and we hope that we won’t be victimised by Tiso’s management,” said Lepheana. 

Tiso Blackstar managing director Andrew Gill said: “While the employees have a right to go on strike, all we can do is try to engage our employees, as it is in the best interests of the company and the employees to find consensus.” 

He said fewer than 30 people went on strike whereas inaccurate reports or union allegations had claimed the action represented 80% of the work force.

Earlier this week, employees from Cell C protested outside Tiso’s offices in Parktown, in solidarity with the media company’s employees.

Cell C employees are also striking over the non-payment of bonuses.

The two sets of employees belong to the same union, the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU).

ICTU president Moeketsi Lepheana said 161 workers were protesting in the Gauteng region.

“We achieved what we wanted to achieve.

“On Monday, there will be a complete shutdown and our demands still stand.

“We hope our members won’t cover the elections next week.

“It is a positive and peaceful protest and we hope that we won’t be victimised by Tiso’s management,” said Lepheana.

Tiso Blackstar managing director Andrew Gill said: “While the employees have a right to go on strike, all we can do is try to engage our employees, as it is in the best interests of the company and the employees to find consensus.”

He said fewer than 30 people went on strike whereas inaccurate reports or union allegations had claimed the action represented 80% of the work force.

Tiso owns various newspaper titles around the country, including Business Day and the Sunday Times.

“It’s difficult, but it has to be done. I don’t want to lie - we all know that today (yesterday) is a big risk because the company won’t pay us if we strike.

“With the little we earn, it will be tough for us, but something has to give.

“If it means earning R500 on pay day, so be it. We are hoping that things can change in the future,” said the worker, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation.

A memorandum is expected to be issued to employees on Tuesday.

“The state capture commission was resuming, so we used the opportunity to get our issues out there.

“We don’t know how the newspaper will come out,” said another employee.

CAPE TIMES