BEMAWU, as a responsible and professional trade union believe its our duty and responsibility to put the statement "You can strike until you blue in the face" accorded to the new chairperson of the Board in perspective.
This was not said in any negative or challenging and disrespectful manner. The SABC has made another R100M deficit in the past quarter. The total deficit is now approximately R960M according to Gab.
It is in that context she has said that it is our constitutional right to embark on a strike, but it will not change the financial position of the SABC and generate more money.
BEMAWU did not agree to the 8.5% increase. We had a meeting with our members where we have stated the factual situation to our members. We have explained that we are driven by a mandate. If the mandate is to proceed with a strike, we will continue to organise same in an as effective as possible manner. We have to ballot members and properly seek mandate for each proposal put by management. This is something required by every trade union's constitution. The shouting and screaming of a few individuals can not even by a healthy stretch of the imagination be seen as a mandate. Each and every member has the right to vote on issues where their salaries and income could be severely affected as a result of a strike and lockout. The fact that we said we will again ballot our members does not mean we have accepted anything.
BEMAWU was the last union to sign the multi-term agreement. We did not want to sign it because inter alia it was so poorly drafted that it could be interpreted in many ways.
We are still committed to the process and our mandate has not changed until the next ballot. If the majority of our members are prepared to conditionally accept the SABC's offer, we would be irresponsible if we ignore that and proceed with a strike. Equally, if members are not willing to accept the offer, we can and will not ignore that, and we will continue with the strike.