Union Solidarity says it cannot rule out possible strike action at Telkom after accusing the telecoms firm of backtracking on its job security clause in wage deal offer.
Solidarity will now join the Communication Workers Union (CWU), who rejected Telkom’s improved offer last week, by heading off to the consultation with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
“It’s off to the CCMA next as the wage talks break down. The CCMA meeting starts at 10:00 on Wednesday in JHB,” Solidarity tweeted after stating that Telkom had backtracked on its job security clause.
“Telkom negotiating in bad faith as Telkom changed its offer after unions mandated on the offer,” Solidarity said on its official Twitter page on Tuesday (4 June).
Negotiations between Telkom and unions, including the CWU and the SA communication union, began in March after Telkom announced that management and bargaining unit staff would be afforded the opportunity of applying for voluntary severance packages (VSPs) and early retirement packages (VERPs) until the end of August 2013.
The unions referred the dispute with Telkom to the CCMA in mid-May after negotiations ended in deadlock with Telkom offering a final increase of 1.5%.
The telecoms firm then upped its offer to 6% last week, which CWU immediately rejected, seeking an 11.5% increase. Solidarity, meanwhile, has demanded an 8.8% increase.
Solidarity spokesperson Marius Croucamp, told BusinessTech on Friday (31 May 2013), that the union had received an offer of 6% over three years from Telkom, with job guarantees – namely, no forced retrenchments – over that period.
However, it appears that the process has again stalled following Solidarity’s tweets. Croucamp was not immediately available for comment.
Solidarity also cryptically tweeted: “Telkom wage talks: mass retrenchments on the cards?”
In March, Telkom dismissed speculation that it would retrench up to 13,000 employees having reported an urgent need to address its human capital requirements.