Telkom ‘waging war’ against its employees: union

Trade union Solidarity has accused Telkom of waging a war against its own employee amid four different labour processes currently underway at the company.

Solidarity said Telkom, among other things, ‘leaves no room for proper consultation about its current retrenchment process with trade unions’.

“At the moment, four different labour processes are under way at Telkom, namely a section 189 retrenchment process, wage negotiations, two section 197 business transfer processes and a process concerning voluntary severance packages which started on Friday,” said Marius Croucamp, communications lead at Solidarity.

Croucamp accused Telkom of  failing to provide unions with sufficient information.

“Telkom is clearly trying its best to make life difficult for trade unions. Delegates of the various trade unions have to stretch themselves to be able to attend all the meetings about the various processes. Telkom is exploiting the situation,” Croucamp said.

He said that Solidarity is in the process of obtaining legal advice should Telkom continue to enforce the above mentioned processes without the necessary consultation.

According to the union, Telkom has already started to finalise three new operating models which are believed to be the rationale for the retrenchment process. “Telkom is, however, refusing to disclose information about this to trade unions,” it said.

Telkom, on Friday, offered voluntary retrenchments to a large portion of its workforce.

Bloomberg reported in February, that the company is looking to trim as much as 40% of its total workforce as part of an ongoing effort to cut costs.

It said that the JSE-listed company aims to cut its workforce to about 8,000 by July – having identified 6,250 positions that it wants to eliminate.

The company’s workforce is at 13,895 as of 29 January, Bloomberg said. Telkom’s staff count in 2015 was put at 18,333 – down from 19,197 in 2014, and 21,209 in 2013.

Telkom did not respond to BusinessTech by the time of publication.

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Telkom ‘waging war’ against its employees: union