Denel Aviation to lay off more than 500 workers

Solidarity spokesperson Jack Loggenberg said on Monday it had received verbal confirmation that the 523 aircraft specialists at Denel Aviation are to be retrenched due to the cancellation of a contract by the South African Air Force.

Denel spokesperson Sinah Phochana said the fate of the 523 workers was part of current negotiations between the company and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), but no decision had yet been taken.

"It is a matter between Denel and SANDF. As soon as we finalise we'll be able to give you an update."

She could not confirm when the negotiations would end. However, Solidarity said it expected to receive written notice on the possible retrenchments on Tuesday, with first consultations taking place on January 14.

"These employees are stationed at various squadrons all over the country. They will probably not only lose their jobs, but also their air force housing within a matter of months," Loggenberg said. "There is also a dark cloud over 523 families' Christmas holidays."


Concerns over conditions
Loggenberg said there had not been notice from the military about the air force taking over the contracts of the aircraft specialists. 

He said that if this did happen, the union would seek to keep the specialists' conditions of employment and salaries at the same level.

"We are concerned that the air force, to cut on expenses, will wait until all the employees have been retrenched before appointing some of them on a lower salary to do the same work," Loggenberg said.

He added the union was worried about whether the air force would pay for severance packages, as the current contract stipulates.

"However, there is uncertainty over whether or not the air force will be responsible for paying out severance packages after the contract has expired," Loggenberg said.

He added that if Denel were forced to pay the severance packages, then more retrenchments might follow.

Loggenberg said the department of defence gave notice on June 20 2011 that it was going to cancel the aircraft maintenance contract.

He added that meetings were held to renegotiate or review the contract, but to no avail, as the air force announced in November that it would not sign a new contract with Denel after March 31. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

Civilians need to oversee South Africa’s defence force

ANC officials’ ‘taxi’ ride in an SANDF jet to Zimbabwe is further evidence that more transparency is needed in the military

Bank guarantees foil Denel’s R4.5-bn Egypt contract

Loss of work is the last thing the beleaguered state enterprise needs

Ipid recommends disciplinary action against police who watched Khosa beating

Police watchdog report finds that metro police members did not participate in the assault

Mapisa-Nqakula ‘regrets confusion’ after contradictory statements on Khosa case

The minister’s media statement follows a letter from Khosa’s attorneys that they were considering a perjury charge or a complaint with the Public Protector

Second SANDF report-back to court is silent on Khosa investigation

Despite a court-ordered deadline for the completion of the internal investigation, no explanation is given for Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s contradictory positions
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Fake trafficking news targets migrants

Exaggerated reports on social media of human trafficking syndicates snatching people in broad daylight legitimate xenophobia while deflecting from the real problems in society

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

How US foreign policy under Donald Trump has affected Africa

Lesotho has been used as a microcosm in this article to reflect how the foreign policy has affected Africa

Trouble brewing for Kenya’s coffee growers

Kenyan farmers say theft of their crop is endemic – and they suspect collusion
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday