Union monitors media for abuses

2000-10-11 17:08

Johannesburg - The Broadcast, Electronic Media and Allied Workers' Union (Bemawu) said on Wednesday it would closely monitor media organisations to ensure they complied with new labour legislation.

Bemawu president Hannes du Buisson said in a statement that many such organisations claimed to be at the vanguard of social transformation in South Africa.

"But on closer inspection the truth is generally much different and the commitment merely slick public relations and marketing," he charged.

The statement singled out the radio syndication service Live Africa Network News (Lann), saying it had not paid over Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) money deducted from union members to the unemployment commissioner.

Du Buisson said 22 Lann staffers belonged to Bemawu and were affected.

"Should it (the company) now fold, they (Lann's staff) will not even be able to claim UIF as he failed to contribute to the fund," Du Buisson said.

UIF fraud investigator Marie Koekemoer told Sapa that "Vive (sic) Africa Network News", which was registered under the same Johannesburg telephone number as "Live Africa Network News", had not contributed to the fund since January.

Bemawu called on "all responsible media owners to dissociate themselves publicly from (Lann chief executive and editor-in-chief) Paul Martin Cainer and his company" and urged unions to guard against such practices.

Cainer would not comment and threatened legal action against anyone publishing Bemawu's statement.

Lann's finance head June Law, however, called Bemawu's claims "utter trash" and said the union was "overstepping the mark". - Sapa.