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Cosatu, CWU demand SABC withdraws retrenchment letters, threaten shutdown

The organisations addressed the media on Thursday at Cosatu House in Braamfontein, where they announced strike action from Friday should their demands not be met.

CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala addressing the media in Johannesburg on 19 November 2020 on the union’s strike action at the SABC. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and its affiliate the Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Thursday demanded the SABC retract dismissal letters issued to workers.

The organisations addressed the media at Cosatu House in Braamfontein, where they announced strike action from Friday should their demands not be met.

The remarks came after management at the public broadcaster said it would go ahead with retrenchments as planned, despite threats of a go-slow at the SABC’s news division earlier this week.

WATCH: ‘It’s not okay’ - SABC journalist makes tearful appeal against retrenchments

Disgruntled workers said the SABC’s new corporate plan would collapse the broadcaster’s ability to produce its own content.

CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said they expected a positive answer from SABC management by 5pm on Thursday afternoon.

“We call on all workers to tools down and bring the SABC to a complete state of blackout. By 1pm on the said date we’ll be on the picketing lines in all SABC outlets,” Tshabalala said.

Tshabalala said they would hand over a memorandum of demands at the public broadcaster’s Auckland Park studios on Friday.

“Our action of a shutdown will continue into the following week, and we will review our action and impact in the next week provided that the management is not responding,” he said.

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