Relations between state arms manufacturer Denel and its employees have been strained after the company failed to pay bonuses at the end of November.
According to trade union UASA’s Sector Manager Willie van Eeden, Denel is in such a poor financial state, employees are scared they might not get their December salaries.
Denel workers give off a certain amount of their salaries every month which is then paid out to employees at the end of November.
Van Eeden says Denel may be committing fraud by not paying employees their 13th cheque.
He says this is the second year in a row that Denel has had problems paying its workers’ bonuses.
Van Eeden has conceded that the company is in a poor financial state but says that is no reason not to pay workers.
He says this is the second year in succession that Denel has experienced problems paying employees their bonuses.
“Denel, for the second year running, indicated to employees that performance bonus payments will have to be postponed,” Van Eeden said.
Pretoria PMP and Denel Aviation Markets are the two divisions affected by the non-payment.
“It is our contention that Denel could be acting fraudulently by withholding payment of the employees’ own money.”
Van Eeden says that if Denel doesn’t have money to pay its employees’ bonuses in November, where will they get it in December?
He says the union will fight until its members get their payments and what is due to them.
“UASA cannot allow its members to be subjected to a situation like what is currently happening at Denel; hence we demand an urgent intervention by way of an urgent but full forensic audit regarding Denel’s financial position.”
Although consideration should be extended to place Denel under administration, such a step could result in even worse reputational damage to the company.