Trade union UASA says it is “bitterly disappointed” by State-owned defence company Denel’s policy change proposals concerning the benefits paid out to employees under certain circumstances.
UASA says Denel has set up a meeting with organised labour for April 19 to discuss the proposed policy changes.
“It is hoped that the proposed changes will see reduced retrenchments in future, but UASA will fight tooth and nail any attempt by Denel to reduce benefits for workers to be retrenched,” states UASA.
The union says that, while it understands Denel “desperately” needs to be normalised to build towards economic viability and to stem the outflow of skills required for its survival, such a revitalisation strategy should not happen to the detriment of UASA members and other workers employed at Denel.
Further, it says it is committed to continued discussions with government to assist with the turnaround of Denel, and is also “poised to help with finally getting” Denel’s employees and creditors paid.
In relation to salaries, UASA says it is “unbelievable” that employees in certain Denel divisions are still waiting to receive their full salaries of which they have received nothing or only a percentage since July 2020.
“This is an issue of serious concern as people are entitled to full remuneration in terms of their employment contracts and are now forced to put up a fight to survive,” the union states.
The union also says more retrenchments are not the answer to South Africa’s problems, and that the country needs to keep workers working and economic sectors in business to overcome the country’s unemployment and Covid-19 crises.