Telkom restructuring hits over 1,000 employees

The restructuring process underway at Telkom is going to affect over a thousand employees by the end of March, trade union Solidarity has revealed.

Following a meeting with the telco on 3rd and 4th of March 2015 regarding the section 197 process taking place at the company, the union learned that 1,236 employees would be affected by the restructuring.

The sector 197 process relates to the outsourcing of services at Telkom.

The union identified the areas and suppliers who would be affected by the process, with 891 employees in the fixed-line call centres, supplied by business process outsourcing company WNS, set to carry the bulk of the impact.

The union released the following figures:

Area Full-time employees affected Identified supplier Effective date
Fixed line call centres 891 WNS 31/03/2015
Supply chain – Network and operations 253 Barloworld 31/03/2015
Supply chain – Retail 11 Ingram Macro 31/03/2015
IT legacy Amdocs-based billing systems 65 ASAJE 31/03/2015
Managed print services 16 Bidvest 31/03/2015

Solidarity noted that unions were still raising questions and concerns with Telkom over the processes, and will continue to engage with the company.

“The unions will now scrutinise all documentation received from the company and forward all further concerns as to prepare for next week’s session,” Solidarity said.

Last month Solidarity said that Telkom’s restructuring process could affect as many as 10,000 employees.

Telkom confirmed that both a section 197 (employee transfer) and a section 189 (temporary employee) process was taking place at the company, but would not say how many employees would be affected.

Telkom said it aims to “unlock further cost efficiencies” within four areas of its business, namely, certain Telkom’s Direct Stores, Call Centres, IT Legacy Systems and internal printing and Supply Chain and Properties.

As part of its cost cutting measures, Telkom said that it is no longer viable to continue running 20 of its 95 Telkom Direct stores.

In 2014, Telkom initiated a wide-reaching restructuring process in order to cut costs at the company. The process initially took aim at middle management roles.

In its full year 2014 report, it noted that it had 19,197 employees, down 9.5% from 21,209 in the prior year, and from 23,247 employees in 2010.

Telkom said in a statement on Thursday that “just under than 1 300 employees are affected by the Section 197 process, all of whom have already been notified of the company’s intent to engage with organised labour on this matter”.

“Telkom is committed to a fair, objective and transparent process involving organised labour. Further engagement sessions are scheduled,” it said.

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Telkom restructuring hits over 1,000 employees