The Labour Court on Friday again postponed the case brought by trade union UASA against financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel. The case will now only be heard on December 2. The reason given for the postponement was to give Denel more time to fully comply with a court order already issued against it last year.
UASA expressed disappointment and concern at the decision. The union had originally taken the group to the Labour Court because it had failed to fulfil its contractual obligations towards its employees regarding Pay As You Earn, Unemployment Insurance Fund and pension/provident fund payments during May, June and July last year.
“To date, Denel never clearly specified how it plans to meet its contractual obligations to employees and how it will compensate them for work done,” highlighted the union in its statement. “UASA is concerned about the continuous postponement of the case.”
In court, the UASA legal representative argued that Denel be kept under the judicial supervision of the court, because the company had not complied with the original court order for more than a year. The judge presiding over the case did order, because of the group’s non-compliance with the original order, that Denel remain under judicial supervision.
“[The judge] ordered Denel to file an affidavit setting out the steps taken to comply with the court order 10 days before the 2 December court date,” reported UASA. “Many workers at the [State-owned entity] have not been paid in full or at all since May 2020 and while the company still expects workers to report for duty, it has shown little progress towards finding a solution to the crisis.”
The union affirmed that it would continue to fight for the rights of Denel’s employees. It assured that it would “do its level best” to ensure that its members received from Denel what they were owed.