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Union takes Denel outstanding salaries, benefits issue to public protector

UASA spokesperson Abigail Moyo said the union had approached the Labour Court a number of times, asking it to intervene and obligate Denel’s management to make salary payments. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

UASA spokesperson Abigail Moyo said the union had approached the Labour Court a number of times, asking it to intervene and obligate Denel’s management to make salary payments. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Published Dec 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Trade union UASA lodged a complaint against troubled state-owned company Denel with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, over the non-payment of full salaries to its members since May 2020.

UASA spokesperson Abigail Moyo said the union had approached the Labour Court a number of times, asking it to intervene and obligate Denel’s management to make salary payments, but without success.

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“Following several ignored submissions that were made by UASA to the local Denel forum and court orders compelling Denel to pay outstanding salaries, UASA had no choice but to approach the public protector.

“Most disappointing is that the government, which is the sole shareholder of Denel, is not willing to assist the affected workers. The recent R2.9 billion that was granted to Denel is for secured debt only and not for salary payments,” Moyo said.

She said the union’s main request was that the public protector investigate any form of maladministration and recommend how to avert the total collapse of Denel and its divisions.

Last month, after a court application was made by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, which represents staff at several Denel subsidiaries, the North Gauteng High Court ordered Denel to pay staff their unpaid salaries, provident funds and medical aid running into hundreds of millions of rands.

In September, after an application was made by the Solidarity trade union on behalf of its members at Denel, the Labour Court ordered that assets worth R4 million be attached by the sheriff and sold to pay the salaries and benefits of Solidarity members.

Meanwhile, the Denel Medical Benefit Trust has sent an update to members in which it said that 405 beneficiaries (or 63%) of the trust had accepted Denel’s offer of an individual annuity, and that in order to allow beneficiaries who have not yet accepted the offer to consider it, it would extend the date for relaying acceptance of the offer to midnight on Thursday, December 9.

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