As a responsible trade union, UASA must assist and allow its members to express their anger and unhappiness in a responsible and reasonable manner within the prescripts of the law. UASA has therefore requested permission for a peaceful picket on 17 October 2018 during normal working hours at the company, as contemplated by Section 69 and 69(2)(b) of the Labour Relations Act, says the union’s Operational Manager Jannem Goussard.
UASA, together with fellow labour partners, strongly believes that the current situation at Denel will have devastating consequences for all employees, especially since it seems that it may continue indefinitely into the foreseeable future.
The current effects on UASA members and their colleagues at Denel as a direct result of the business crisis, include the following:
- Continuous uncertainty and threat of job losses;
- Unilateral reduction in monthly salaries has already materialised and the threat is repeated and forecasted monthly indefinitely;
- A persistent infringement on dignity and Health and Safety rights, for example, the non-supply of toilet paper;
- In some instances, a unilateral reduction/derogation or freezing of benefits occurred;
- Embarrassment due to state capture claims and reputational damage;
- Some employees are verbally insulted daily by suppliers and customers who have either not been paid, or have not received their orders;
- A general decrease in employee well-being and morale;
- Many employees are frustrated and idle, simply because they do not have the materials to complete their work;
The picket will allow UASA members to demonstrate and express their unhappiness as well as their support for an economically viable Denel, and to raise awareness regarding the financial assistance and associated urgency required to rescue Denel and save jobs. Participation in the picket will be voluntary.
While initiatives by Denel Management are underway to combat the collapse of the company, UASA has nonetheless witnessed over the last few months the agonising, rapidly deteriorating and depressing state of all divisions of the Denel Group. The reputational damage caused to the brand will require great effort to overturn and without urgent financial assistance, matters will proceed to a point of no return.
A memorandum addressing the members’ concerns will be handed over to the Denel acting group chief executive officer on 17 October 2018, the day of the picket.