South African public broadcaster SABC faces possible industrial action after failing to meet the wage demands of the three unions – BEMAWU, CWU and MWASA on 31 May, according to a joint statement released by the unions.
The statement reads:
“The SABC was deadlocked in wage negotiations with BEMAWU, CWU and MWASA on Tuesday 31 May at the Irene Country Lodge outside Pretoria. After four sessions of negotiations characterised by squabbles over the provision of relevant information, including audited financial statements, the unions had no option but to work on thumb-sucked figures which gave no reliable indication of the financial status of the SABC. The Acting Group-CEO Robin Nicholson avoided addressing the negotiating forum at all instances and only sent his juniors who had difficulty in speaking to the financials of the Corporation.
“Protracted negotiations continued after SABC representatives made the Corporation’s final offer on the first day of negotiations. The SABC was reluctant in making any further substantial or substantiated improvements on their final effective offer of 7.07% across the board plus a meager increase in the housing allowance. The Unions are demanding a 10.5% across the board increase.
“The Unions believe the SABC had not shown commitment throughout the protracted negotiation process and had negotiated in bad faith. The Unions will now have to reconfirm their mandates with their respective members and have left their door open for the SABC to improve on their current offer. CCMA litigation and a subsequent strike action are real possibilities’