June 23, 2020 / 4:52 PM / 21 days ago

S.African trade union takes state arms firm to court over wage payments

JOHANNESBURG, June 23 (Reuters) - South African trade union Solidarity said on Tuesday it had applied to the Labour Court to challenge state arms manufacturer Denel over its failure to pay salaries in full.

Denel is one of several struggling state enterprises the government has been keeping afloat with bailouts but which have been battered by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which makes military hardware for the armed forces in South Africa and around the world, is awaiting a 576 million rand ($33 million) bailout announced in a budget speech in February.

Solidarity said in a statement that some employees only received 20% of their salaries for May.

It demanded that Denel pay outstanding salaries and payments to third parties - a reference to Denel missing payments to its employee pension fund and some tax obligations - by July 3.

A Denel spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment. Solidarity said the Labour Court would hear its case on June 30.

$1 = 17.2263 rand) (Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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