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sabcBL Premium writes that open threats to disrupt coverage of the upcoming general election over a wage dispute at the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) paid off for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) after the cash-strapped public broadcaster and the union signed a 6% wage increase agreement on Monday.

The CWU represents more than 600 of the public broadcaster’s estimated workforce of 2,000 (including contractors). SABC workers have not received a pay increase for the past three years as the broadcaster has been bleeding cash for years and has relied on government bailouts to keep operating. The pay deal for the 2023/24 financial year comes after CWU national bargaining co-ordinator Nathen Bowers vowed in December 2023 that the union would disrupt the election should the struggling broadcaster not accede to its demand for higher wages. Wage talks began in July 2023 after the CWU tabled an increase of 18% across the board. The SABC initially offered no increase before tabling 6%, backdated to 1 October 2023. The CWU, however, had wanted the increase backdated to 1 April 2023, which resulted in a deadlock. The matter was referred to the CCMA, which led to the resolution of the dispute on Monday. When contacted for comment, Bowers said the wage deal was a result of a “negotiated settlement”. He added that the new group CEO Nomsa Chabeli “agrees the SABC needs to implement any wage agreement retrospectively. The agreement starts on April 1 2023. This is a major victory for workers.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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