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UPDATE ON STRIKE

BEMAWU today met with a delegation of the Board and Management to attempt to resolve the 10% wage demand.

Our expectation was, given the urgency of the matter, the Board would come with an offer as they discussed this and the pending strike in their three day meeting.  We were met by what appeared to be a semi hostile Board delegation which spent 20 minutes of the 1 hour meeting to try and lambaste BEMAWU  for sharing voice clips of the previous meeting with you, the members.

It was agreed to park that particular issue and get on with the businesses of the day.

The Board delegation was adamant they will not personally negotiate with BEMAWU, but merely wanted to inform us they want to reopen negotiations, and follow the normal process of putting together a management team to negotiate, securing a venue, bringing representatives from the Regions and restart, from scratch negotiations.

BEMAWU made it clear we will not agree to that process. We in fact informed the delegation we are past the stage of negotiations, and insisted mediation must take place tomorrow, (2 November 2017) where we obtain the services of a mediator, which we offered to pay for, should there be a cost involved. It was then agreed the SABC will make available a delegation, and so will BEMAWU to meet at 09:00 tomorrow (2 November 2017) and we will proceed, with or without a mediator to attempt to resolve the impasse.

We reported back to members and on behalf of management requested that the strike be suspended with one day to allow for the process to unfold. The members refused, and we reported that to Management. As we were concerned about the SABC, we proposed to management that we immediately (16:30) starts with mediation and negotiations to try and resolve the impasse, and that we continue through the night, if necessary. Management were unfazed by our plea for urgency. They insisted on tomorrow, at 09:00.

The strike is fully protected, and any employee or other trade union member may participate in the strike.

This strike is not only about a salary increase. The strike is also about unresolved grievances, unprocedural restructuring, abuse by management, unilateral change to shift rosters, unilateral change to terms and conritions of employment, abuse of staff in that freelancers are working for years now without any medical aid, pension ,leave, sick leave and other benefits. The strike is about the attitude of management in dealing with staff.

Most importantly, its about the future, and future treatment employees can expect from the SABC.

If the SABC is allowed to get away with a 0% increase, what is next?

  • Your 13th cheque?
  • The cancellation of their contribution to your medical aid? Will employees be able to then afford medical aid?
  • Taking away SABC contribution to your pension fund?
  • Another 0% next year?

Let us all withhold our labour, and make this strike as effective and short as possible.

We are the SABC!

We carried it, we continued to broadcast, we tried to upheld its integrity, its independence, its operations, its reputation, its well being  whilst being dismissed, victimised and intimidated by the previous political regime. We deserve respect.  We are not 5 year visitors, we are upstanding, professional men and woman, journalists, broadcasters, support staff, fathers, mothers, grandparents,  human beings…we deserve to be paid for our labour.   #WeAreSABC!

(Please note, our only official demand is a 10% increase. We are not adding demands like the unilateral restructuring  or anything else to the demands. These issues are principle, underlying issues)

Please use #WeAreSABC in all tweets!

JOIN THE STRIKE

  1. The strike is protected.
  2. All BEMAWU members, SABC staff, managers and other union members are entitled to participate.
  3. The strike starts at 06:00 tomorrow morning, 2 November 2017.
  4. Further communication will follow tomorrow.
  5. Join the applicable group hereunder.

STRIKE GROUPS

Gauteng Strike Group

Mpumalanga Strike Group

Western Cape Strike Group

Northern Cape Strike Group

Tshwane Strike Group

Limpopo Strike Group

Freestate Strike Group

Eastern Cape Strike Group

KZN Strike Group

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CAN EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATE IN A STRIKE IF THEY WERE NOT PARTY TO THE REFERRAL?

If you are not a member of a trade union at all, or you are a member of  another trade union who did not refer a dispute about a matter of mutual interest, can you strike and will it be a protected strike?

This is one of the questions the Constitutional Court had to decide in 2012.

In the  matter of  SATAWU v Moloto, the Court  was seized with the interpretation of section 64(1)(b) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (Act). The applicants seek leave to appeal against the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Equity Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd v South African Transport and Allied Workers Union and Others,2 which construed the provisions of section 64(1)(b) of the Act as obliging every employee who intends to embark on a strike to notify his or her employer of that intention personally or through a representative for the strike action to be protected.

The relevant provision of the Constitution section 23(2)(c)  grants every employee the right to strike.

The right, which is granted without any express limitation in the Constitution, is given content and regulated by the Act in fulfillment of one of its primary objects.To that end, the Act provides substantive limitations and procedural pre-conditions for the exercise of the right to strike and the employer’s corresponding recourse to lock-out.

Section 64 reads in relevant part:

(1) Every employee has the right to strike and every employer has recourse to lock-out if—

(a) the issue in dispute has been referred to a council or to the Commission as required by this Act, and—

(i) a certificate stating that the dispute remains unresolved has been issued; or

(ii) a period of 30 days, or any extension of that period agreed to between the parties to the dispute, has elapsed since the referral was received by the council or the Commission; and after that—

(b) in the case of a proposed strike, at least 48 hours’ notice of the commencement of the strike, in writing, has been given to the employer, unless—

(i) the issue in dispute relates to a collective agreement to be concluded in a council, in which case, notice must have been given to that council; or

(ii) the employer is a member of an employers’ organisation that is a party to the dispute, in which case, notice must have been given to that employers’ organisation; or

(c) in the case of a proposed lock-out, at least 48 hours’ notice of the commencement of the lock-out, in writing, has been given to any trade union that is a party to the dispute, or, if there is no such trade union, to the employees, unless the issue in dispute relates to a collective agreement to be concluded in a council, in which case, notice must have been given to that council; or

(d) in the case of a proposed strike or lock-out where the State is the employer, at least seven days’ notice of the commencement of the strike or lock-out has been given to the parties contemplated in paragraphs (b) and (c).” (Emphasis omitted.)

Other relevant provisions are found in section 67 of the Act which, in addition to defining “protected strike” and “protected lock-out”, provides various forms of immunity for participation in these actions where the relevant requirements have been met.

Protection for strikers cuts across a wide spectrum and ranges from delictual and contractual immunity to protection from dismissal, barring fair dismissal for misconduct or operational reasons, and immunity from criminal prosecution for contravention of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act or the Wage Act.

 The consequences of non-compliance with the requirements of “protected” industrial action, which include the grant of an interdict against the action and payment of compensation for loss attributable to the action, are contained in section 68 of the Act.

In terms of Section 64, Subsection (1)(a) allows the parties room to negotiate a settlement of their dispute through conciliation before the employees exercise their right to strike, whereas subsection 1(b) requires a warning to the employer of an imminent strike in the event that conciliation fails. As I see it, it would make no practical sense to require employees who were affected by an issue in dispute to undertake the same process in respect of the same dispute when conciliation had already failed. In any event, “issue in dispute” in relation to a strike or a lock-out is defined in the Act – it means “the demand, the grievance, or the dispute that forms the subject matter of the strike or lock-out” – whereas the definition of strike is couched in wide, non-specific terms.

The Court thus found that it is not necessary for non-unionised employees, and for that matter any other employee who is not a member of the union who referred the dispute, to give notice of a strike.

Furthermore, any employee of that employer where the dispute exists, even if  they have not been part of the conciliation, or have been joined as a party to the dispute, may participate in a strike, and it will be considered a protected strike.

SATAWU v Moloto file.

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UPDATE ON SABC STRIKE | 1 NOVEMBER 2017

BEMAWU will meet with the Board today at 14:00.

CWU unconditionally withdrew their notice to strike. We proceed until we receive a different mandate from members.  We intend having a feedback meeting today, after our meeting with the Board. We will keep you informed of the time and venue.

ONLY if you have not done so previously, please go to the form below and update your mobile phone details.

MOBILE NUMBER UPDATE

MOBILE NUMBER UPDATE










Enter your mobile number starting with 27

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STRIKE FAQ’S

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.

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YOUR GUIDE TO A PROTECTED STRIKE

To Strike is a Constitutional Right

Every worker has the right to strike, and every employer has the option to lock out workers, if –
  1. a dispute has been referred to a council or the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA);
  2. a certificate that a dispute remains unresolved has been issued;
  3. 30 days have elapsed since the referral; and
  4. 48 hours’ written notice of a strike is given to
    a. the employer; or
    b. a council (if the dispute relates to a collective agreement to be concluded in a council); or
    c. to an employers’ organisation (if the employer is a member of an organisation that is a party to the dispute); or
  5. 48 hours’ written notice of a lockout is given to
    a. the trade union; or
    b. to the workers (if they are not trade union members); or
    c. a council (if the dispute relates to a collective agreement to be concluded in a council).

Workers’ Rights

During legal strikes workers may not –
  • be dismissed; or
  • have civil legal proceedings brought against them.

Employers’ Rights

During legal strikes employers –
  • do not have to pay workers, unless workers ask that payment in kind (accommodation, food, basic amenities) be continued; and
  • may fairly dismiss a worker for misconduct or for operational needs.

PROTECTED STRIKE

The term “protected” strike action refers to a lawful strike which is in compliance with the requirements of the Labour Relations Act 1995 (“LRA”).

The effect of embarking on protected strike action is that no employee may be dismissed by reason of their participation in the strike, nor do they commit a breach of their contracts of employment by participating in protected strike action.

The first procedural requirement is a mandatory referral of “the issue in dispute” to the CCMA which results in a conciliation meeting between the parties. The purpose of conciliation is an attempt to settle the dispute, with the assistance of an appointed CCMA Commissioner. If the dispute is settled at conciliation, strike action is averted.

If however conciliation is unsuccessful, the CCMA issues a certificate stating that the issue in dispute remains unresolved. It is this certificate which is the second procedural requirement of protected strike action in terms of the LRA.

If 30 days has lapsed, no certificate is needed.

In this instance, no certificate was issued, but the 30 days has lapsed. This was confirmed by the Acting Senior Commissioner, Collective Bargaining at the CCMA:

From: Shimane Kgantse [mailto:shimanek@CCMA.org.za]
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 12:00 PM
To: booysen.mashego@yahoo.com
Cc: headoffice@bemawu.org.za; mogalanet@gmail.com; Boitumelo Fatane <BoitumeloF@CCMA.org.za>
Subject: FW: GAJB20270-17

Dear Mr Booysen

Thank you for your mail.

The view of the Commissioner Madubanya who facilitated the wage dispute is that she did not get an opportunity to mediate over the dispute. We are mindful that legally there’s nothing precluding the Trade from embarking on a protected strike since thirty days has lapsed from the date of the referral. We however request you indulgence and provide us with an opportunity to have a mediated session with the parties before exercising your rights.

Looking forward to your positive response.

Regards

Shimane Kgantse

Acting Senior Commissioner Collective Bargaining

Thirdly, any person and/ or union who, after the issuing of a certificate by the CCMA, wishes to go out on strike must give an employer at least 48 hours advance notice of the intended strike action.

Provided these three procedural requirements are complied with, the strike is deemed to be protected in terms of the LRA.

STRIKE NOTICE ISSUED

Strike Notice 2017

Further communication will follow to inform all members about the plan of action. 

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CCMA TO MEDIATE IN SABC STRIKE

Unions at the SABC (BEMAWU & CWU) have agreed to delay the issuing of a strike notice until Monday,  30 October 2017 for a strike at the Public Broadcaster  to afford the CCMA an opportunity to mediate between the parties.

This decision comes after the CCMA on Friday made the request to the unions.

In an email to the unions, Acting Senior Commissioner of Collective Bargaining at the CCMA, Shimane Kgantse wrote:

The view of the Commissioner Madubanya who facilitated the wage dispute is that she did not get an opportunity to mediate over the dispute. We are mindful that legally there’s nothing precluding the Trade [unions] from embarking on a protected strike since thirty days has lapsed from the date of the referral. We however request you indulgence and provide us with an opportunity to have a mediated session with the parties before exercising your rights.

Due to this request, and also then to afford the full Board the opportunity it has requested in our last meeting, to meet and consider the demands of the unions, the strike will not proceed on Monday, but after the 48 hours notice has lapsed, which will be served on the SABC on Monday.

This will afford the CCMA the opportunity to mediate between the parties, and for the Board to inform employees what they have decided. At the meeting between the Board and unions, the delegation of the Board indicated they want to open negotiations with the unions, and the understanding was, by opening negotiations, the SABC will move from their 0% offer.

We believe the decision to only serve notice on Monday to afford the parties to meet in one last final attempt to avoid a full blown strike  at the Public Broadcaster is the correct one, in the best interest of our members and the Broadcaster and is reasonable. This also demonstrates our commitment to have a cordial working relationship with the Board, and to heal and restore the dignity of the Public Broadcaster.

In the strike ballot done by BEMAWU, 89% of its members voted in favour of a strike.

CCMA LETTER

From: Shimane Kgantse [mailto:shimanek@CCMA.org.za]
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 12:00 PM
To: booysen.mashego@yahoo.com
Cc: headoffice@bemawu.org.za; mogalanet@gmail.com; Boitumelo Fatane <BoitumeloF@CCMA.org.za>

Dear Mr Booysen

Thank you for your mail.

The view of the Commissioner Madubanya who facilitated the wage dispute is that she did not get an opportunity to mediate over the dispute. We are mindful that legally there’s nothing precluding the Trade from embarking on a protected strike since thirty days has lapsed from the date of the referral. We however request you indulgence and provide us with an opportunity to have a mediated session with the parties before exercising your rights.

Looking forward to your positive response.

Regards

Shimane Kgantse

Acting Senior Commissioner Collective Bargaining
Telephone: +27113776733

Fax2Email:   086 506 9557

Call Centre: 0861 16 16 16 | Website: http://www.ccma.org.za

SENZ’UMEHLUKO – MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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ANOTHER VICTORY FOR A FREE SABC!

The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is by far the most influential and dominant news source in South Africa.

Any political party (or faction of a political party) who gains control of the SABC would be able to manipulate public opinion through the SABC. In such circumstances it would be impossible to conduct a free and fair election. It is therefore surprising that the judgment handed down last week, in which the High Court struck down efforts by the government to interfere in the management of the SABC, did not attract more attention.

In a capitalist state without a well-functioning public broadcaster, the right to freedom of expression and to free and fair elections will remain an empty and unreachable promise. As the Constitutional Court noted in Khumalo and Others v Holomisa:

The print, broadcast and electronic media have a particular role in the protection of freedom of expression in our society. Every citizen has the right to freedom of the press and the media and the right to receive information and ideas. The media are key agents in ensuring that these aspects of the right to freedom of information are respected. The ability of each citizen to be a responsible and effective member of our society depends upon the manner in which the media carry out their constitutional mandate.

Last week the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court in the case of S.O.S. Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Others v South African Broadcasting Corporation and Others confirmed the importance of the SABC in fulfilling this role. In a ringing judgment (written by Matojane J) the court held that the right of everyone to freedom of expression and the right to vote (read with the Broadcasting Act and the SABC Charter) means the SABC is required “to ensure that members of the public have access to accurate, neutral and pluralistic information”.

The SABC must also provide “coverage of significant news and public affairs programming which meets the highest standards of journalism, as well as fair and unbiased coverage, impartiality, balance and independence from government, commercial and other interests”. Moreover:

The SABC as a public service broadcaster must promote alternative views to encourage debate that is vital to the functioning of democracy. A Healthy democracy requires that the public be able to discuss, share and receive information relating to political, social and cultural matters affecting their lives. The public broadcaster plays a crucial role in strengthening democracy and democratic governance by ensuring that the general public, in particular, those with neither political nor economic influence or power, have access to a broad spectrum of views on issues of public concern.

The judgment also confirms that the SABC performs a watchdog function “by investigating and reporting on the maladministration, abuses of power and corruption as these are matters of [public interest”

For the full article, go here https://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/sabc-what-the-high-court-said-about-its-independence-and-how-it-will-limit-government-interference/

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Protected: MEETING BETWEEN LABOUR AND SABC BOARD

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MEETING WITH DELEGATION OF THE SABC BOARD

Kindly note organized labour will meet with the AGCEO and a delegation of the Board today at 12:30. A feedback meeting will take place immediately thereafter at 14.00 – 14.30, K1 Auditorium.

Regions will be linked up.

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WEDNESDAY MEETING CONFIRMED |SABC

Meeting with SABC and delegation of Board confirmed for Wednesday.

We sincerely hope our demands will be met.

Letter from SABC:

Dear Sirs

We refer to the above matter and the meeting held on Thursday, 19 October 2017 with the Acting GCEO, Ms Nomsa Philiso (“AGCEO”) refers.

The AGCEO and the delegation of the SABC Board cordially invite you to attend a feedback meeting to be held as set out below.

The details of the meeting are as follows:-

Date            : 25 October 2017

Venue           : 28th Floor boardroom, Radio Park

Time            : 12h30 – 13h30

Your attendance at the meeting will be highly appreciated.