UASA Media Release: 01 August 2022
Denel pays up after UASA wins the court battle it initiated two years ago to find justice for workers
Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:
UASA members employed by state-owned weapons manufacturer Denel received millions of Rands in backdated salaries after the union’s continuous court battle to get the embattled SOE to pay all outstanding monies.
UASA was the first union to follow a legal approach to force Denel to pay salaries and other employee obligations, including medical, pension and accrued interest and was soon followed by other unions active at Denel. UASA continued to fight for its members for more than two years, vowing not to rest until all workers had been paid what was owed to them.
UASA members report that the company started paying them on Friday, 29 July 2022, including salary payments up to July 2022.
For more than two years, UASA members in Denel’s employ showed up for work while surviving on little to nothing until a Labour Court Ruling by Judge Van Niekerk on 26 July 2022 ordered the company to effect payment of the outstanding remuneration for the period 1 August 2020 until 31 May 2022 for the respective members of UASA within 14 days of the court order. Judge Van Niekerk rejected Denel’s argument that the employees must grant Denel the opportunity to restructure before making payments.
UASA members were assured from the start of the legal proceedings that UASA would not obtain a writ of execution to seize Denel’s assets to prevent the means of production of UASA members from being taken away. It was of utmost importance to UASA that our members still had to work to secure Denel’s future.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan announced in March this year that money received by Denel from any state grant could not be used to pay staff salaries, as it has been ring-fenced for debt repayments.
However, UASA attorneys showed in court that Denel stood to receive sufficient funds from the Denel Medical Trust Fund, enabling it to comply with its obligations towards UASA members. UASA’s highlighting of this fact in court led directly to the court order being granted.
During the entire course of litigation, UASA ensured its members that their union would be there for the full duration of the case and will utilise all of its resources such as Fedusa the federation UASA is affiliated to, to engage the relevant political role payers in an attempt to find a resolve, we further committed to pay all legal costs and that no member would be held responsible or be required for contributions to any legal costs.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview,contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.