Generations: Cosatu calls for legal action against SABC

The trade union federation has also called for a week-long boycott of the soapie

FILE: Striking cast members of popular TV series 'Generations' and their legal team addressed the media on 26 August, 2014 following labour disputes with the SABC. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on its affiliate, the Communication Workers Union, to consider legal action against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the producers of Generations following the dismissal of 16 actors.

The cast members were fired after what producers say was an unprotected strike for higher wages and the payment of royalties accrued over time.

The artists were sacked on 18 August after ignoring an ultimatum to report for duty.

The federation says the labour dispute has now become about much more than the soapie.

Cosatu has also called for a week-long boycott of the soapie and says it will approach the show's advertisers to encourage them to join the boycott.

The trade union federation's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said, "Millions of SABC viewers are not following nonsense, they are following talent that has been proven over a number of years."

He said legal action is necessary.

"In my view, we've got to take them on legally as well and begin to file a case of unfair dismissals with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration."

Meanwhile, the fired cast last month called on the national broadcaster to stop condemning black talent to a life of poverty.

The 16 sacked actors of the popular soapie spoke out last month in a bid to set the record straight.

Many of the actors were in tears and said their rights had been violated and spoke out against what they called apartheid working conditions.

The cast members also said they were angry at the show's management for disclosing their salaries to the media.

The SABC has promised a new-look Generations.

The list of fired Generations actors includes:

Sophie Ndaba (Queen)

Menzi Ngubane (Sibusiso)

Seputla Sebogodi (Kenneth)

Katlego Danke (Dineo)

Thami Mnqolo (Senzo)

Zolisa Xaluva (Jason)

Winnie Ntshaba (Khetiwe)

Slindile Nodangala (Ruby)

Zenande Mfenyana (Noluntu)

Thato Molamu (Nicholas)

Anga Makubalo (MJ)

Mandla Gaduka (Choppa)

Patrick Shai (Patrick)

Atandwa Kani (Samora)

Nambitha Mpulwana (Mawande)

Zikhona Sodlaka (Priska)