Trade union Solidarity on Thursday expressed regret that the contempt of court case it had brought against State-owned defence industrial group Denel had been postponed until January 27. The court ruled that the Denel board had to be given time to respond to the affidavit presented by the union.
Denel had not paid its employees their full salaries, nor its other statutory payments, since May. On August 4 the Labour Court had ordered Denel to pay its staff their salaries and make other statutory payments on their behalf. On August 28, Solidarity again took Denel to court, and gained a contempt of court ruling against the group, with a deadline of December 3 (Thursday).
“We are disappointed but respect the judge’s ruling,” said Solidarity defence and aviation sector coordinator Helgard Cronjé. “We still maintain that it should be Denel’s first priority to give effect to the 4 August court order. As Denel has not done so, we took them to court for contempt of court. We will be back in court on 27 January to keep fighting for our members and for what is their due. We feel for our members, the innocent workers at Denel, who are still receiving less than half of their salaries and who are the real victims of this state of affairs.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, he had pointed out that “[l]oyal employees have now come under tremendous financial pressure while head office staff still receive their full pay. Meanwhile, blameless employees are losing their homes and cars while those who have been mainly responsible for the mess are not affected at all.”