uasaEngineering News reports that Uasa has reacted strongly to two reported suicides on the part of Denel workers last week. The trade union described the news as “distressing and heart-wrenching”.

It accused the state-owned defence industrial group of “simply looking on” while its unpaid or underpaid employees struggled to pay their bills. “Uasa has at several occasions emphatically underscored the plight not only of its members at the weapons manufacturer but of all employees who have gone without salaries since July 2020 or were paid a meagre percentage of what was owed them,” Uasa spokesperson Abigail Moyo said on Thursday. “That the dire situation is still not getting the attention it deserves from either government or the company’s board of directors is disheartening, particularly against the background of the directors being paid in full while neglecting to pay their employees,” she added.  Moyo explained that on top of the great stress imposed on the workers and their families caused by the company’s failure to pay them had come the additional stress of the Covid-19 pandemic. These stresses had been further exacerbated by the reopening of schools last week, with many Denel employees unable to meet the back-to-school needs of their children. The result was emotional and mental distress, which had in turn led two of the group’s workers “seeing no other option” but suicide.

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page