Thursday, January 17, 2019
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Solidarity members at Denel say no to wage cuts, short time

Solidarity says no to Denel wage cutDenel employees who are members of Solidarity have rejected a minimum 20% salary cut proposed by management, saying workers were not responsible for the precarious situation the State-owned defence and technology group finds itself in.

“It is common knowledge Denel is currently experiencing severe cash constraints, including outstanding payments of R1.2 billion to suppliers. Solidarity members are not responsible for mismanagement and poor management decisions which landed Denel in its current financial conundrum,” Solidarity deputy general secretary Johan Botha said.

The proposal for Denel employees to take a voluntary drop in salary as of the end of this month (November) would, according to the Centurion-headquartered trade union, assist in restoring cash flow which would hopefully stimulate production and generate income.

Solidarity’s Denel members rejected the proposal.

According to Botha, the Denel financial report for 2017/18 shows in the midst of poor management decisions, the group’s financial director still received a hefty performance bonus of R3.28 million and his total remuneration package for this period was R7.032 million.

“The salary bill for group executives increased from R22 million in 2016/17 to R41.8 million in 2017/18,” Botha said.

“Not one of the executives responsible for poor decisions and mismanagement has been criminally prosecuted, but our members have to resign themselves to the fact ‘One Denel’ means you have to carry the can for mismanagement perpetrated by others.

“If our members do not agree to mandatory short time which will result in a 20% salary cut, the unfortunate result will be salary payments not guaranteed after November 2018.”
Apart from Solidarity members’ demand for urgent action to be taken against the perpetrators, members also demand the urgent appointment of a new group executive officer, urgent approval of Denel’s revised corporate plan as well as urgent consideration of foreign investors possibly interested in obtaining a shareholding in Denel.

“Privatisation or partial privatisation is all that will prevent the total collapse of Denel, not the proposed 20% savings on employees’ salaries. We are concerned about President Ramaphosa’s statement that as yet, no real consideration has been given to the possibility of foreign investors interested in Denel, while indicators already point to employees’ monthly salaries being in jeopardy,” Botha said.