This morning the SABC staff finally took to the streets in a protected strike against the SABC "Damagement," demanding a 12.2% salary increase as per their standard agreements with the SABC.
Members of MWASA, CWU, BEMAWU and supporters such as those from SASFED, the TVIEC, S.O.S, COSATU and the South African Communist Party all gathered behind the Sentech Tower this morning, despite the icy wind in Johannesburg to rally in support of the SABC staff. Addressing the assembled crowd - SOS and the TVIEC pledged their support for the SABC staff and their determination to see real reform within the SABC management.
The protestors marched slowly down the street and gathered outside Radio Park, singing protest songs and waving banners reading "We demand our 12,2%."
Protestors demanded that the SABC management address them face to face and receive a memorandum of demands, which acting groep CEO, Gab Mampone, (after repeatedly being assured that his safety would not be compromised) accepted on behalf of the SABC. Workers at the SABC made it clear that the current economic recession was not to be blamed for the crisis at the SABC but rather corrupt and ineffecient management. A union representative said "We are, ourselves, paying to get to work everyday - but they still have their (company) petrol cards!" The unions refuse to consider anything less than a 12,2% salary increase across the board as there is no sign of change within management.
Union representatives repeatedly cautioned the SABC management that further action would follow if their demands were not met. The memorandum stipulated that the SABC had two days to formally respond to the unions' demands, else the matter would be elevated.
Gab Mampone, though seemingly rather reluctant to speak, assured the crowd that the memorandum of demands would be addressed.
To see a media release from the Unions today - click here and to see the memorandum of demands issued by the Unions today - click here