Generations soap actors threatened with dismissal

Generations soap actors threatened with dismissal
Published: 2014 August 15 12:23:27 (9774 Views)
South African soap Generations has hit troubled waters again because of the ongoing fight between the stars and the SABC over royalties.

The SABC's biggest money spinner, Generations on SABC1, was forced to shut down production entirely as the cast refused to return to work.

The cast said they will not rest until the public broadcaster and MMSV Productions give them what they believe they should get.

As the strike, which started last week, continues, the cast members expressed their anger in a statement that explained that the public broadcaster has ignored their grievances.

"We are in exactly the same position we were in last October when we first went on strike. Nothing has been resolved," said a cast member.

"After the first strike we came back to work in good faith, with the understanding that all the issues that we'd brought up would be addressed by the broadcaster months ago in March, the date they agreed on. Since then, they have missed their own deadline and pushed the date out, with no discernible resolution to the grievances in sight."

On Tuesday this week, 12 August, the SABC has sent communication – according to the Generations Actors Guild – “ordering” the Generations cast to report to duty by Wednesday 13 August "or face immediate dismissal – with no reference whatsoever to their unfulfilled commitment to address cast grievances".

The Generations cast declined and has not been on set this entire week. Channel24 was told that nobody has any intention of returning if long running complaints are not resolved and this time in writing.

The cast's demands include three-year contracts and payment of royalties for the episodes being repeated on the channel.

Generations earns hundreds of millions of rands for SABC1 and the SABC. It is the most watched soap, drawing a national average audience of around 7.5 million viewers on weeknights on SABC1.

"This action isn't something we embarked on lightly," says the Generations cast in a strongly-worded statement.

"This is both our livelihood and our passion. Working on Generations is something we take extremely seriously – we only wish the SABC and the production house took us as seriously".

"We have continuously worked in good faith with them, choosing to believe that they would honour their commitments. It's unfortunate that they have failed to do that".

"We deeply regret the inconvenience to our fans and loyal viewers, but feel strongly about taking a principled stand about fundamental labour issues that our employers seem not to be taking seriously - instead they threaten us with dismissal".

"It is our fervent hope that these issues are resolved sooner rather than later. We are eager to get back to work," says the Generations cast.

"It is a real pity that the SABC and MMSV Productions have consistently failed to meet their own deadlines, and now seemingly choose not to deal with the cast's issues at all," says lawyer Bulelani Mzamo.

Mzamo said: "There are a number of issues that caused this strike and the cast understood that some would require long-term responses, while others could be resolved within the timelines the public broadcaster had set."

Mzamo said that the broadcaster and the production company have not kept their word to resolve their grievances.

A total of 16 actors, including Patrick Shai, Zenande Mfenyana, Zikhona Sodlaka, Seputla Sebogodi, Nambitha Mpumlwana and Sophie Ndaba are part of the strike.

Source - Channel24/Dailysun

Tags: Generations, soap,

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