Payment of salaries and employee benefits, including pension and medical, remain a Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of Denel with legal action from at least one trade union a reminder of the need to fully meet personnel commitments.
“Some Denel divisions received full net salaries at the end of September – others not,” is the view of Solidarity sector co-ordinator for defence and aviation, Helgard Cronjé. The Centurion-headquartered labour union monitors its members in the overall Denel workforce.
He told defenceWeb there were still outstanding and unpaid salary and third party payments for May, June and July. “This is to date,” he said this week, adding Solidarity was “still busy” with court and legal processes to enforce a court order for the outstanding payments.
He gave examples of the state of play as regards salary and other employee payments in a number of Denel companies/business divisions.
At Denel Vehicle Systems (DVS), staff was paid in full for August and September but there is no guarantee of full pay going forward. Denel Aeronautics, after paying full salaries in August, paid from 80 to 100% in September with a distinction between scheduled and non-scheduled employees. Solidarity has not been able to confirm how and when outstanding September salary amounts will be paid.
The picture is bleaker at Denel Land Systems (DLS) where August and September salaries ranged from full to 60% with a distinction based on salary scale. Solidarity information indicates short payment can continue until March next year. Similar to DVS, the trade union has not obtained finality on when outstanding salary amounts will go to employees.
At PMP (Pretoria Metal Pressings) it’s a little different with full salaries paid in September after 100 to 60% paid in August and, according to Cronjé, “possible payment of outstanding salaries in December”.
Denel Dynamics personnel received full pay in August thanks to a once-off royalty payment. September sees the gloom descend with 40% of net salaries expected. Solidarity said: “indications currently are there does not seem to be the means to pay full salaries at least until March next year”.
Cronjé agrees with Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow public enterprises minister Ghaleb Cachalia that Denel Dynamics has basically lost all its technical personnel to foreign countries or companies with international links.
“We do not believe the current view of Denel Dynamics divisional management that some employees can be lured back is realistic,” he said.