Union collars Telkom over executive pay

Trade union Solidarity has called for renewed wage talks with telecommunications giant Telkom, the union said on Thursday (5 September).

The request for another round of negotiations came after claims that Telkom gave its top management “exorbitant salary increases”, spokesman Marius Croucamp said in a statement.

On Thursday, 29 August 2013, Telkom published its annual report, revealing the company’s executive remuneration for the year ended 31 march 2013.

BusinessTech noted that former Telkom Group CEO, Pinky Moholi earned a cool R11.6 million in the last financial year.

Her pay comprised a salary of R6.4 million, plus a short-term incentive of R2.6 million and other benefits of R2.5 million.

Controversial former MD of Telkom International, Motlatsi Nzeku however, was the highest paid at the company, having resigned with an “early retirement” settlement of R13 million on top of his R660,621 salary.

Nzeku was sacked by Telkom and publicly slated for poor performance in 2009, but was successfully reinstated as MD of Telkom International after private arbitration. Nzeku “retired” from the company in June 2012.

Telkom Mobile head, Attila Vitai, was paid a total of R8.47 million for the year, including a sign-on bonus of R5.5 million. Vitai joined the company in November 2012.

Telkom chief financial officer, Jacques Schindehutte was paid R8.4 million, including a base salary of R4.9 million, incentives of R2.2 million and benefits of R1.2 million.

Telkom Exec pay
Telkom Executive pay

“Top management received exorbitant salary increases, while many employees, according to Telkom’s final wage offer, will basically get no increase. [We] maintain the situation has led to a breach of trust between top management and ordinary employees,” Croucamp said.

According to the union, Telkom drew up a final wage offer linked to a “differentiation model” that involved a three-year contract.

“[The model] is aimed at rectifying historic salary imbalances… certain employees will receive an increase above six percent, while others will get virtually no increase, which comes down to a wage freeze,” Croucamp said.

“As a result of the agreement certain employees will, in real terms, get a wage decrease over the next three years, as they will stay on the same salary level during that period.”

Telkom initially offered a 1.5% salary increase, which was revised at a later stage.
Solidarity also alleged that the final agreement was implemented despite it declaring a dispute.

Telkom was not available to comment on the claims.

Telkom Exec pay
Telkom Executive pay

(with Sapa)

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Union collars Telkom over executive pay