NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 14, 2014.
The 16 Generations actors who have now been without work for two months, took their matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) today.
They sought recourse from their employers, the SABC and MMSV Productions, for their collective dismissal. The 16 took the matter to the CCMA as the Generations Actors Guild (GAG) after prior efforts to negotiate with their employers failed.
This pattern of refusal continued today as the SABC and MMSV Productions refused to settle the matter. In a statement GAG said: “The matter will continue on to arbitration. For the cast, there is a sense of relief that the process has begun.”
The actors’ legal advisor Bulelani Mzamo said it was important to remember that this process may be a long one. “There is a considerable amount of work that needs to go into demonstrating the basis of this claim to the CCMA – the CCMA, in turn, has its own process of how it responds to each claim, and their recommendation on the most suitable remedy to the dispute,” Mzamo said.
In a joint statement the actors said: “From the outset, we acted within the definitions of the agreement and the law – despite a string of broken promises from our former employers. We look forward to putting our case before the CCMA and commencing on achieving a much-deserved legal remedy to our unilateral dismissal.”
Apart from the CCMA appeal, GAG now want to open a civil case against their employers “for a transparent calculation for the commercial exploitation fees owed to us for use of the episodes and our images”.