We have received questions in respect of the looming strike at the SABC. We will attempt to answer those questions as comprehensively as possible. For more questions, please post in comments.
AM I FORCED/COMPELLED TO STRIKE?
Absolutely not. It is a democratic choice, and no-one may or will compel or force you to strike. If you do not support the demands or you don’t want any salary increase, you don’t have to strike.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE STRIKE?
Every union member and every employee of the SABC can participate in the strike and will be protected. This include employees on middle management and non-unionized employees.
MUST EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT PART OF A UNION GIVE NOTICE?
No. The Constitutional Court in SATAWU v Moloto ruled there is no requirement for individual members who wants to participate in a strike to give notice. All is required is a notice must be issued 48 hours before the commencement of the strike, and it need not specify precisely which employees will participate in the strike.
WILL THERE BE ANY VIOLENCE/INTIMIDATION IF THE STRIKE CONTINUES?
Absolutely not. We do not believe in violence and intimidation. Members coming to work will not be intimidated or harassed. If every employee simply withhold his or her labour, staying away from work for one or more days, will be super effective and the strike will end quickly.
IF I DO NOT SUPPORT THE STRIKE, MUST I RESIGN FROM THE UNION?
No, you don’t have to. In any event, a member must give one (1) calendar month notice. By the time your resignation is effective, the strike, if there will be one, will be over.
WILL AN INCRESE, IF ANY, ONLY BE GIVEN TO UNION MEMBERS?
This is certainly an approach we will take. In particular at this time where the SABC is in a difficult situation. We believe we will be able to quickly get out of the financial mess, as the SABC has the potential to generate revenue fast, with the correct leadership.
ARE WE NOT UNREASONABLE TO DEMAND 10% AND CALL A STRIKE?
You, the members gave us that mandate. We do not believe it’s unreasonable to demand an increase. We are a service provider, and a very important one too. If Isidingo is not getting paid, there will be nothing on air. If the SABC does not pay it’s electricity, there will be no broadcast. Freelancers received a 6% increase. Its only loyal, hardworking employees who received …nothing.
WHAT WOULD BE THE EFFECT ON ME, AS A WORKER WHEN I GO ON STRIKE?
It will be a protected strike, and you may not be dismissed or prejudiced for participating. A strike is on a basis of no work, no pay. Should it be effective, part of the negotiations to stop a strike could be to pay striking employees. The more employees participating, the shorter and more effective it will be. For every day you not working, you will not get paid. You must decide whether sacrificing one or more day’s pay for a salary increase is worth it.
WHAT WOULD POTENTIALLY BE THE CONSEQUENCES IF WE DO NOT PROCEED WITH A STRIKE?
You may receive no increase next year too. If you are not prepared to fight for an increase now, why would you ever be prepared to do so? So what will then be next? Not paying your 13th Cheque? Taking away your Medical Aid or reducing their contribution, stopping their contribution to your pension fund, your post-retirement medical aid? Reducing leave? Who knows.