MultiChoice has agreed to cooperate with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to try to reduce job losses at ANN7, the formerly Gupta-owned 24-hours channel that will be pulled off the DStv bouquet in August.
The CWU met with MultiChoice South Africa CEO Calvo Mawela and other company executives on Tuesday to discuss concerns by the union about job losses at ANN7.
“The union’s primary concern is possible job losses at ANN7 and it wanted to know what steps MultiChoice will be taking in this regard,” the broadcaster said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The outcome of the meeting was an agreement to set up a team to work on practical solutions to reduce the negative impact on loss of jobs at ANN7 as far as possible,” it said.
The parties have agreed to look at how best ANN7 employees can be redeployed to the new, black-owned news channel MultiChoice plans to commission, as well as within the wider industry.
“The parties reiterated their support for promoting diversity of news and views on the DStv platform and agree that this news channel will be based on this principle,” MultiChoice said.
“We’re committed to job creation and making significant investments to grow our industry in a positive and meaningful way,” Mawela said in the statement. “That is one of the reasons why we’re commissioning this new news channel.”
In the same statement, the CWU said it welcomes the outcome of the meeting, but emphasises it is only a “first step as we continue to strive for media diversity and an industry that is inclusive”.
“We view securing jobs as a primary objective of any trade union movement.”
It said there should be better working conditions for journalists and all workers in the industry. “We are not going to rest on our laurels, but we will work hard to make sure that workers are not victims of wrong business decisions.” — © 2018 NewsCentral Media
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