Trade union Uasa reports that the Labour Court has rejected State-owned defence company Denel’s technical points aimed at further delaying payments to Uasa members, in their dispute over delayed salary payments.
The urgent court application brought by Uasa against Denel in April to honour all outstanding contractual obligations, and effect payment of full remuneration to Uasa members in its employ from August 1, 2020, to date, was again before the Labour Court on June 2.
In April, Uasa’s application followed after Denel continued to be in breach of Uasa members’ employment contracts and information that Denel would receive a pay-out of R1-billion from the Denel Medical Trust Fund in May.
“Since the R1-billion would comprise excess funds from the Denel Medical Trust Fund and therefore belongs to the workers, Uasa believes the money should be used to pay employees who have not received salaries for a long time,” says Uasa spokesperson Abigail Moyo.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Andre van Niekerk ruled that Uasa’s application be postponed, and that the matter be set down on the unopposed court roll for July 26, irrespective of whether Denel opposed the application or not.
Denel was ordered to provide updated outstanding remuneration amounts for May and June, which will be included in Uasa’s claim by July 14.
Should Denel wish to oppose the matter, it must file all relevant papers by July 5.
Van Niekerk’s ruling required all the updated figures, including for May and June, to be verified so that, if accepted by the court, execution may be done without further delay. “[Van Niekerk] rejected Denel’s argument that the employees must grant Denel the opportunity to restructure before making payments,” says Moyo.
She adds that the Labour Court’s ruling intends for the July 26 process to bring finality to the outstanding figures.
“Uasa will continue its court battle against Denel until all outstanding monies owed to Uasa members employed by [Denel] are paid. Uasa members working for Denel have survived on little to nothing for over two years now, and it is about time that the company starts acting in the best interest of its workers and pays what is due to them,” says Moyo.