Following the further breakdown of the trust relationship between Denel management and labour after this week’s shock announcement that the company had not paid over either workers’ or the company’s retirement fund contributions, a special labour forum was held to discuss the crisis.
At the forum meeting UASA indicated that it was deeply concerned about Denel being less than honest with its employees. On 26 June 2019 Denel CEO Daniel du Toit indicated to workers that it remained Denel’s priority to ensure that employee’s salaries, pension fund contributions, SARS and UIF are the first to be paid on a monthly basis. Du Toit stated that these payments were up to date on 26 June 2019, which was in fact not true.
Mr Docrat, who addressed the meeting in the absence of the CEO stated the following with regards to the failed payments:
- Denel will have a meeting with DENRET on Monday the 15th of July 2019 to discuss interim arrangements.
- Denel will accept full responsibility for any claim made by any member as they will be acting in terms of the Conditions of Service contract between them and the employees.
He also acknowledged that the liquidity crisis at Denel is deepening and that, although they got a life line from treasury, the R1bn came with very strict conditions on how it must be utilised.
Union members do not believe that the special labour forum would have taken place had the non-payment of the pension fund contributions not become known to labour and employees.
UASA and other unions present requested a follow-up meeting next week with the following agenda:
- A thorough report indicating the proof of the exact monthly dates of payment to the pension fund, specifying each Denel division, as of December 2018, including late or no payments
- Clarity on the arrangement with SARS regarding the payment of tax by September 2019 as well as clarity and/or the arrangement in place regarding the UIF non-payment
The new appointed HR Executive Manager, Ms Mercia Ngema gave her view on the matter as she closed the meeting. She acknowledged the breakdown of the trust relationship between Denel management and Labour and indicated that it must be attended to immediately. HR proposed that meetings between Denel management and Labour should take place on a much more regular basis.
Issued by UASA