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‘Angry’ Cosatu calls on workers to join protest against SABC retrenchments

08 November 2018 - 12:49 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Cosatu is fuming over potential job losses at the SABC.
Cosatu is fuming over potential job losses at the SABC.
Image: Waldo Swiegers. (C) Sunday Times.

Cosatu has called on its workers to support the picket against the planned retrenchments at the SABC, calling the move by the public broadcaster "unacceptable".

The trade union federation’s Gauteng leadership said in a statement that it was "angry against employers who continue to dismiss workers despite the high levels of unemployment in the country".

The federation said it was absurd that "decimating" the livelihoods of workers was being normalised and was seen as a solution.

"We need to support each other on the picket lines or we will find each other on the unemployment lines," said Cosatu's Gauteng branch in the statement.

What was more worrying, it said, was that the public broadcaster would need more workers when digitalisation gets implemented.

"The digitisation project needs more workers than retrenchment. We need creative management that could develop long-term strategies that would sustain the SABC going forward, as opposed to shortcut plans targeting workers, thus compromising service delivery by the national broadcaster," said Cosatu.

"We are also calling management and the board of the SABC to look into alternatives to save jobs.”

Cosatu said it believed the SABC should rather look at reducing the salaries of executives and doing away with board fees as a strategy towards financial recovery. This proposal comes after the broadcaster admitted last week that it was technically bankrupt.

The federation also issued a stern warning against state entities toying with the idea of laying off workers, saying it would force them to starve President Cyril Ramaphosa of a platform and an audience of workers going into the general elections next year.