Telkom to target whites in latest job cull: report

Telkom will target white employees in its latest round of retrenchments, which could affect more than 2,600 managers, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing labour unions.

Telkom CEO, Sipho Maseko, said that Telkom is losing market share, and is facing numerous challenges going forward. This includes declining voice revenues, declining prices and increased operating expenses.

Maseko said that the company is planning to flatten its managerial and specialist structure, which should help to execute its turnaround strategy.

The telco began its consultation with management staff and specialists regarding its planned restructuring and job cuts on Tuesday, 13 May.

According to the company, it is anticipated that 2,635 management staff will be affected by the restructuring process.

Bloomberg reported that Telkom would consider “employment equity” when deciding who to dismiss, citing a document two labour unions claim they received from Telkom.

Employment equity seeks to promote equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through elimination of unfair discrimination and implementing affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups, in order to ensure equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce.

“Preference will be given to designated groups to be retained,” Marius Croucamp, a spokesman for Solidarity, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “This means that white managers will be retrenched because of their skin colour.”

Telkom said it “will consider a number of criteria, one of which is our obligation to comply with the Employment Equity Act.”

The other criteria, Bloomberg reported, include qualifications, potential, length of service, and gender, citing a document that the unions, Solidarity and the South African Communications Union, said they received.

White males account for 38% of senior management and 39% of middle management at Telkom, according to its 2013 annual report.

A Telkom spokeswoman, declined to verify the document.

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Telkom to target whites in latest job cull: report