Trade union Solidarity’s bank account was today (Friday, 17 September) boosted to the tune of R4 million, compliments of Denel, that will go to paying salary arrears .
“Payment of salary money is a major victory for Solidarity and its Denel members,” Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said.
“Their salaries were looted for over a year while the State-owned company (SOC) did not meet its responsibilities. Solidarity refused this laxity from the State and Denel and applied constant pressure to force compliance with an August 2020 court order.”
In terms of the court order, the Centurion-headquartered labour organisation is entitled to have Denel assets attached by the Sheriff for disposal with revenue received from the sale going to pay outstanding salaries and employee benefits, including medical and pension.
The Denel payment will pay some outstanding and short paid salaries from May to July last year with another Labour Court hearing on the roll. This, according to Derek Mans, Solidarity aviation and defence organiser, is set down for 7 October.
“Denel is going to be challenged on the outstanding salaries of every Solidarity member employed at Denel from August last year to now,” he said, adding Denel should not think it can do the same as Eskom in reference to the power utility’s load-shedding. “Interrupting payment of salaries is not on.”
“Denel expects loyalty from employees but fails to pay them. We will not allow this and will again challenge Denel in court. It is a shame we constantly have to go to court to force an organisation to pay its employees.
“Solidarity has taken a stand, not only against Denel’s failure, but against corruption and looting of tax money.
“This is a major blow against corruption and the first of many. We are fed up with a government that provides shelter to looters and does not take action against offenders. Our tax money is misused and innocent employees at government agencies and entities are suffering. Enough is enough,” Hermann said.
Denel’s salary woes are far from over, as the company owes employees more than R600 million. Denel also faces a legal challenge by the Denel Employees Association (DEA), which this month submitted legal documents to the North Gauteng High Court requesting business rescue proceedings to save the beleaguered SOC. Non-payment of salaries and benefits was the driving force behind the business rescue request.