The Labour Court ordered state-owned aerospace and military technology conglomerate Denel to honour all outstanding contractual and statutory obligations towards members of trade union UASA employed at the largest manufacturer of defence equipment in South Africa by no later than Friday.
In a statement by UASA spokesperson Stanford Mazhindu, the trade union said the court made the order on Tuesday during a virtual hearing, ordering Denel to honour its obligations for the months of May, June and July.
The trade union said presiding Judge Andre van Niekerk in his findings noted that Denel had breached the most fundamental obligation of an employer in an employment relationship, that is to pay remuneration for work done.
Denel was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.
Mazhindu said in a statement: “UASA is pleased with the judgment and urges Denel to comply with the 7 August due date or risk being in contempt of a court order.
“UASA again calls on the government as the only shareholder in the SOE to intervene and find an urgent solution to the liquidity crisis to ensure our members get their outstanding salaries as well as full future salaries.”
The court also ruled that Denel must honour all outstanding contractual and statutory obligations it has towards members of trade union Solidarity.
Solidarity’s sector coordinator for defence and aviation Helgard Cronjé accused Denel and the government of dealing “recklessly with their employees”.
“Historical problems are at the root of the predicament Denel finds itself in, not being able to pay its employees. This problem has not arisen as a result of Covid-19 but is the result of years of incompetent management, corruption and state capture,” Cronjé said, adding that the trade union welcomes the court ruling.
“It is yet another step closer to force Denel’s board to take action in order to save the entity and in so doing to force the government as shareholder to also start fulfilling its role as a responsible shareholder.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)