BEMAWU did NOT sign a new agreement with the SABC. Therefore, a strike is NOT off, until we have signed a new agreement.
We did not agree to an 8.5% increase. We are prepared to sign an agreement of 8.5% immediately, and negotiate on the implementation of the 1.5% committed to by the Acting GCEO. This is a 10% increase.
We have an in principle agreement with the Chairperson of the Board that we will sign an agreement with the SABC that would enable us to negotiate a further increase in respect of the remaining 2.2%.
BEMAWU did not abandon our right to the 12.2% as the other two unions did. We have maintained that there is an agreement of 12.2% and we have an arbitration date set for 12 August 2009. Should the SABC not settle with us before the time, we will proceed with arbitration and ask for the full 12.2%.
To be able to proceed with industrial action, the other two unions had to tell the Commissioner at the CCMA that they abandon their member's right to the 12.2% increase. Only BEMAWU members may claim that right of 12.2% at this point in time.
As the Plant Secretary of CWU has said "I did not agree at the time to abandon our member's right to 12.2%, but I was outvoted." It's called democracy, comrade. Question is, did the members understood what they voted for?
We hope to meet with the SABC as soon as possible to conclude an agreement. In the meantime the strike at Lotus FM continues, and we are calling on BEMAWU members in KZN and other regions to join.
This is a fight against bad management and fruitless and wastefull expenditure. This is a fight for the right to not be victimised when you blow the whistle on irregularities.