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strike thumb medium85 85The Star reports that a small army of workers are gearing up to bring media house Tiso Blackstar to a standstill on Thursday if the company does not pay its black journalists their bonuses and salary increases.

Information Communication and Technology Union (Ictu) president Moeketse Lepheane told Independent Media yesterday a line in the sand had been drawn between employees and senior management after the company took a hard stance on those embarking on industrial action.

Ictu is an affiliate of the SA Federation of Trade Unions.

Lepheane said a last-ditch attempt by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry to resolve the matter would be made within the next 24 hours to try to find common ground between employees and senior management.

The commission is housed at the premises of Tiso Blackstar.

The company’s labour woes stem from an internal memo, where its black journalists accused it of ill treatment, freezing salary increases and discriminatory pay disparities, all along racial lines.

“Starting on March 14, employees of Tiso, along with Saftu-affiliated unions, will be embarking on a strike in solidarity with black journalists who have not been paid their bonuses.

“We are expecting 6,000 union members at the Tiso Blackstar offices,” Lepheane said.

He said the desired outcome was that the company pay journalists their bonuses.

“There are also pay disparities, where whites get paid more than black people.

“What we have uncovered is that from entry level, a white person will earn double what a black person earns within the first six months of employment,” said Lepheane.

Tiso Blackstar managing director Andrew Gill said the union had issued a notice to strike from tomorrow, following a dispute concerning the non-payment of bonuses to staff.

“The company did, in fact, award bonuses to those divisions that met the criteria, as well as award discretionary bonuses to top performers.” He said the company was still prepared to engage with employees.

The company has applied a no work, no pay policy towards the industrial action and said all employees who participated in the strike would have to pay their own monthly medical aid, pension and provident fund contributions.

The original of this report by Ayanda Mdluli appeared on page 2 of The Star of 13 March 2019

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