Mobile operator Cell C has reportedly notified its employees that it plans to embark on a restructuring process which could lead to job losses.
This is according to trade union Solidarity, citing a letter received by some of its members.
As recently as March, Reuters reported that Cell C’s largest shareholder Oger Telecom is looking at selling its stake in the company, while in February, Bloomberg reported that Cell C was working with Goldman Sachs to explore its options in SA, including a possible sale.
Last month however, the group said it will invest R8 billion in its LTE network over the next three years, aiming to deliver high-speed broadband to its customers across South Africa.
“According to the letter dated 28 April 2015, the purpose of the restructuring process is to enhance the company’s effectiveness, streamline its business and avoid the duplication of functions,” Solidarity said in a statement on Thursday (7 May).”
The union said that at this stage, some 47 positions are affected by the process. However, it added that Cell C indicated that even more positions could be affected in the short term.
According to Marius Croucamp, head of Solidarity’s Communications Industry, Cell C is currently involved in a consultation process to determine the selection criteria that will be followed during the process, and to discuss the possibility of alternatives such as severance packages.
“Some of our members have already received an indication that they are affected by the process. We therefore requested Cell C to participate in the consultation process in order to limit the impact of the process on our members. We will also urge Cell C to have the best interests of its employees at heart during the process,” Croucamp said.
According to Solidarity, Cell C says it plans to conclude the process by the end of July 2015. The company currently employs 1,084 employees.
Cell C said in a statement:
“Cell C confirms that it has commenced the process of consultation in respect of possible retrenchments. At this time, and subject to consultation with the affected employees, this process could affect up to 47 employees whether through retrenchment or redeployment.
“The process followed is in line with the Labour Relations Act and the company is acting responsibly.
“Cell C cannot provide further comment at this stage.”