Telkom dismisses talk of jobs bloodbath
The operator rubbishes claims by a trade union that it’s planning to axe more than half its workforce.
Telkom has rubbished claims made by the Communication Workers Union that it plans to get rid of 13 000 of its employees, or more than half its workforce.
Business Day newspaper reported on its website that the union had accused Telkom of moving to retrench the staff under the guise of voluntary severance and early retirement packages.
According to the report, union general secretary Thabo Mogalane told a media conference that the packages were “nice concepts” designed to “confuse our members”. Mogalane reportedly called the packages an “ambush” and threatened industrial action.
But Telkom moved quickly on Wednesday to deny the claims made by the Communication Workers Union.
“Telkom is aware of speculation regarding retrenchment of some 13 000 employees and wishes to place it on record that no such decision has been taken,” the company says in a statement.
“The company recently announced a voluntary separation and voluntary early retirement process to its employees that emphasised that the decision to apply for a package is at the sole discretion of every employee,” it says. “No employee is obligated to invoke this offer.”
Telkom says the outcome of the process will not be assessed on the reduction in the number of employees but rather on the overall impact on the company’s cost structure. “This will be monitored continuously throughout the process to ensure that the company reaches the desired state of cost efficiency.”
Employee costs make up about 50% of Telkom’s operating expenses, excluding payments to other operators, cost of sales and depreciation.
However, Telkom has warned that after the window period for voluntary severance has ended, if the process has not achieved the results it wants, then it may be forced to embark on a retrenchments programme. “Future retrenchment processes and severance packages will be done in accordance with the Labour Relations Act,” human resources chief Thami Msubo said last week. – © 2013 NewsCentral Media
- See also: Telkom to cut jobs