Union's case against SABC dismissed
Johannesburg – The Labour Court has dismissed with cost labour union Bemawu's latest bid to have the SABC's section 189 consultation process declared unlawful and invalid.
The Broadcast, Entertainment, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) approached the court on an urgent basis following the public broadcaster's plans on a retrenchment process which will affect 400 workers.
The financially struggling company began issuing notices to employees which would have seen some of them being given the opportunity to reapply for other jobs.
The cash strapped public broadcaster has since halted the Section 189 process until next year.
Bemawu asked the court to urgently declare the Section 189 processes followed by the SABC irregular and invalid and for it to withdraw retrenchment letters which were distributed.
The SABC said it was pleased the court validated the Section 189 processes followed by the SABC were fair.
"The Labour Court has therefore validated that the SABC’s Section 189 process has been procedurally fair and that all participating stakeholders were afforded ample opportunity to engage meaningfully.
"The SABC conducted 16 consultative sessions over 4 months with multiple stakeholders, 7 of those were facilitated by independent CCMA commissioners.
“This significantly exceeded the statutory minimum requirement of four meetings over 2 months.
“The SABC used these sessions as a platform to meaningfully engage in a joint consensus-seeking process.
“The SABC is committed to a fair and transparent process," the broadcaster said on Wednesday morning.
Bemawu spokesperson Hannes du Buisson said the ruling did not signal the end of the road for the SABC's staffers.
SABC staffers went on a series of protests outside the company’s multiple offices across the country.
They called on the broadcaster's shareholders and management to rethink the retrenchment issue.