Sacu to Telkom members: let’s strike

South African Communications Union (Sacu) says it aims to initiate strike action against Terlkom following failed wage negotiations at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on Friday (12 July).

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.

Last month Telkom said that 1,411 bargaining unit and 178 management employees exited up to 31 May 2013 as part of its bargaining process. The group has an approximate workforce of 21,000 people.

Sacu, which has just under 4,000 members at Telkom says it has requested that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issue a certificate of non-resolution, otherwise known as a strike certificate.

A spokesperson noted that sister union, Solidarity, also rejected the latest terms, while the Communication Workers Union (CWU) was “quite comfortable” with the terms laid out by Telkom.

Solidarity commented from its official Twitter account on Friday:

Telkom wage talks: Telkom’s latest offer not inflation linked, rather reflects new remuneration model.

Telkom wage talks: Solidarity and Sacu reject Telkom’s offer.

The group could not be reached for comment.

According to Sacu, the new Remuneration Model would mean that in year one 60% of employees will be getting increases on their total packages, in year two it will be reduced to 40% and year three to less that 30%.

Sacu said it would communicate its latest intent to its members with the aim of initiating a ‘full-blown’ strike by next week.

Sacu’s president, Michael Hare says, it is still “open to engage Telkom in an attempt to avoid a full-blown strike” and he hopes Telkom will “come to the party”.

More on Telkom wage deal

Telkom wage talks update

Telkom wage talks impossible: union

Surprise move in Telkom dispute

CCMA calls for more Telkom talks

Telkom workers set for strike action?

CWU rejects improved Telkom wage offer

Telkom wage dispute sent to CCMA

Telkom not firing 13,000 people

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Sacu to Telkom members: let’s strike