CCMA hearings into the retrenchments of over 150 staff members from various newspapers across South Africa are at an advanced stage, with severance packages under discussion. The Tiso Blackstar Group has opted for hearings to be held in Port Elizabeth as a central venue.
The majority of media workers affected are from the Herald Newspaper in Port Elizabeth and the Daily Despatch in East London.
The Information Communication Technology Union says the company failed to inform it about the intended retrenchments. It claims Tiso Blackstar did not follow due process. Parties are locked in negotiations. Union representative, Thabang Mothelo, says the union wants to save the jobs of all employees.
“The union would like to save jobs of all employees regardless whether they are union members or not. The country really needs people to go back to work. The retrenchments have been going on in South Africa for a long time. You could see in the elections that parties with strong ideology did not get a proper representation, our democracy is under threat.”
The Herald is one of the oldest newspapers in South Africa. Many publications are under pressure to cut costs; some are only available online.
The discussions are on-going at the CCMA. Tiso Blackstar declined to comment.
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