Home South African Union files urgent application in the Labour Court for Denel to pay...

Union files urgent application in the Labour Court for Denel to pay its members

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Trade union United Association of South Africa has brought an urgent application in the Labour Court to get state-owned conglomerate Denel to honour all contractual obligations and pay outstanding remuneration to its members, dating back to August 2020.

The union is seeking court intervention regarding a R1 billion payout Denel is expected to receive from the Denel Medical Benefit Trust (DMBT). Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

TRADE union United Association of South Africa (UASA) has brought an urgent application in the Labour Court to get state-owned conglomerate Denel to honour all contractual obligations and pay outstanding remuneration to its members, dating back to August 2020.

The union is seeking court intervention regarding a R1 billion payout Denel is expected to receive from the Denel Medical Benefit Trust (DMBT) following a court order on February 24 this year that excess funds may be allocated to the company.

Denel said the high court granted an order on February 24, following its application, which would enable it to arrange individual annuities for the DMBT members. This means Denel could access the surplus funds held in the DMBT fund to ensure the well-being and welfare of those who are part of the trust.

The union has said this money ought to be allocated to its members who are employed by the company, and haven’t been paid monies owed to them. The members have been unable to obtain tax compliance certificates from SARS due to their unpaid taxes. The union further claims some of its members had to pay their own medical expenses after the company failed to pay their contributions.

UASA spokesperson Abigail Moyo said, “As the state-owned enterprise owes workers almost R830 million in unpaid salaries, it is only logical that the money be used to pay all outstanding salaries owed to employees.”

As part of the application, the union wants the company to honour all outstanding contractual arrangements with its members and pay their full remuneration from August 2020, to date. UASA is further seeking a court order for the company to deduct and pay the required contributions from August 2020, to date, in line with their employment contracts. It asked the court to order these payments be made within 14 days.

“The breach of the contractual and statutory obligations by Denel causes UASA members harm and hardship on an ongoing basis. It has been almost two years since they have last received their full remuneration. Despite these excessive hardships UASA members still continue to work,” Moyo said.

UASA has been involved in an on-going labour court battle with Denel for over 19 months. Recently, the company was placed under judicial supervision, to ensure compliance with a court order dated August 4, 2020, to honour outstanding contractual salary obligations.

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