Telkom says it will close ‘some’ of its 95 Telkom Direct Stores stores as part of a restructuring plan announced on Monday (16 February).
The company aims to “unlock further cost efficiencies” within four areas of the business, namely, certain Telkom’s Direct Stores, Call Centres, IT Legacy Systems and internal printing and Supply Chain and Properties.
Telkom said it has completed a stringent procurement process and has identified external companies to undertake call centre operations, the management of IT legacy systems, a company to undertake the management of Telkom warehouses in the Supply Chain area of the business, as well as a company to take over internal printing activities.
Trade union, Solidarity said that as many as 10,000 employees could possibly be affected by the process, which Telkom denied.
Solidarity said that Telkom is planning on restructuring its field force division, however the telecoms firm denied this.
“A Section 197 process has been initiated for staff impacted in these areas of the business. These affected employees will be transferred to their new employers in the coming months,” the telco said in a statement.
It said that a meeting with Organised Labour took place on Monday morning. “The official consultation process will begin on Friday this week, with more consultations to following over the coming weeks. Affected staff have also been informed.”
Telkom said further that it conducted detailed analyses of the viability of all the Telkom Direct Stores.
“The research has shown that it is, unfortunately, no longer viable to continue running some of the company’s 95 stores. It is clear that significant cost efficiencies can be realised, by closing down these unviable stores,” it said.
“These affected employees have today been notified of the decision and, in terms of the Labour Relations Act, have been issued with Section 189 Notices.”
“Telkom will explore every option to place the affected employees impacted by this process in other areas of the business. Should such attempts be unsuccessful, some of the affected employees may unfortunately be retrenched,” it said.
Telkom stressed that the restructuring process is an imperative for the survival of the business and to secure the long term and sustainable growth of the company.