Seven former employees who claim they were unfairly dismissed last year have dragged popular Gauteng radio station, Kaya FM, to court.
The seven - Boas Molobi, Ntokozo Tshabalala, Heather Mendes, Thabo Matji, Siphokazi Somana, Nomsa Mahlaule and Deliwe Moroke - argued in court that they were invited to a meeting to discuss the station's new business model, only to realise that it was a meeting that was meant to assess their skills.
Testifying on Monday in the Johannesburg Labour Court in Braamfontein, former advertising accounting executive Matji said their ordeal began at a meeting between management and the sales team in November 2010.
"In my opinion, the employer had retrenchment in mind even before the meeting," Matji said. "It was already on the cards, we were just not told about it."
Matji said consultations had not taken place during the whole process for a new business model - which the team later found in a letter dated December 24, 2010 that the model included the possibility of retrenchments
Matji's evidence was supported by minutes of the November meeting, which did not show that retrenchments were discussed.
At the meeting, Matji said, the team was also offered training to improve their skills, but were never told of any imminent retrenchments.
Arguing through their lawyer, Kaya FM did not dispute the minutes, but argued that the applicants' interpretation was different to that of the station.
The station's lawyer argued that the sales team did not reject the new model until after it was implemented.
The lawyer said the team was given an opportunity to participate in the process by reapplying for their jobs.
"Management did not engage with us about the process, we only found out about the retrenchments in the letter," Matji said.
via I-Net Bridge