Zuma briefed on Telkom layoffs: union

President Jacob Zuma has been aware of Telkom’s plans to let go of as many as 7 800 employees for some time and has voiced no objections to the company’s plans, trade union Solidarity said on Friday.

Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma has been aware of Telkom’s plans to let go of as many as 7 800 employees for some time and has voiced no objections to the company’s plans, trade union Solidarity said on Friday.

Solidarity is one of three labour unions recognised by Telkom. All three unions on Friday declared a formal dispute with the company over its latest round of restructuring, which is likely to have a significant impact on Telkom’s wholesale division, especially its field services unit.

“Solidarity and two other trade unions today declared a dispute with Telkom regarding its restructuring process. Solidarity believes that Telkom is not following the letter and spirit of its restructuring forum,” Solidarity said in a statement.

“The process is not transparent and employees are forced to take uninformed decisions about their futures. We believe it is nothing less that bullying tactics,” said Solidarity’s Marius Croucamp in the statement.

He said Telkom is attempting to force workers to accept the process by arguing that the government was not opposed to its plans to retrench thousands of workers.

“The president has been informed about the restructuring process even long before the employees or trade unions were made aware of it. Unlike the government, we have Telkom employees’ best interests at heart and we shall do everything in our power to stop this process,” Croucamp said.

Solidarity said that no labour contingent had been afforded the opportunity to present any counterproposals to Telkom’s proposed restructuring.

Earlier on Friday, Telkom said the unions had declined to accept the offer of opening voluntary severance and early retirement packages across affected areas of the business.

“For this reason, engagements have been halted and Telkom will be approaching the Centre for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to facilitate further engagements,” it said.

“The progression to the CCMA implies a formal, facilitated consultation process in accordance with the Labour Relations Act. As a consequence, Telkom will be proceeding with the issuing of section 189 notices for the areas affected by the … turnaround programme.

“We had hoped to further interrogate the options we have put on the table, to mitigate the impact these changes will have on many of our people. But with discussions stalled, we believe the involvement of the CCMA is the correct and necessary next step,” it added.  — © 2015 NewsCentral Media

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  • Davebee

    As long as this Telkom info does nothing to hold back the use of the swimming pool, kraal and Spaza shop (especially the Spaza shop) at Nkandla Mr. Potato Head couldn’t give a phlying phuk anyway so why did they even bother?
    On second thoughts the above applies to pretty much to everything else this overpaid buffoon should be aware of in this sad little Transformationstan.

  • Errol Xolo

    I’m a member of this Union but it’s just totally disgusting to politicize their battle with Telkom. And who best to use other that the embattled President. Why couldn’t they have just started by briefing the Minister first? This is essentially Minister Cwele’s issue and he should then take it to Zuma. People like Davebee should learn to read articles properly and be objective instead of being naive to a deliberately politicized labour article.

    This is exactly the response that Solidarity wanted to help fight their course. The country and the economy needs a leaner Telkom. In the private sector which Telkom is part of, the Ultimate aim is to make a profit for the shareholders. Telkom is not a government department and the man at the helm is sure running Telkom like any other Private Sector company should be run. At the end of it all, NO person’s job is ever guaranteed in any company!

  • Phumlani Buthelezi

    I think it is wrong to criticise government when you face challenges, what Zuma must do? subsidies all this old man’s holding positions in telkom that they do not deserve. Waiting for their pensions, it is not a waiting room here, this is a working place.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    I would think a better outcome would be for Telkom to have more customers, then the retrenchments wouldn’t be needed – but Maseko seems unable to see what the market is doing, or compete with it – I feel Consumer is a lost cause, Telkom’s totally taken the wrong path there – even in Enterprise, historically Telkom’s stronghold, when you speak to IT people, whereas 3 years ago, Telkom was the first choice, they’re now just a safety option that people consider if absolutely nobody else is available.

    Telkom used to lead by default, because they never had any competition – but now that they do, it’s quite clear just how badly their upper management is running the company. I have no issues with the techies and people that actually get the work done, but the higher-ups are destroying the company slowly by being too scared to change, and clinging to decades-old models that never really worked well in the first place.

  • MelcolmX

    Your ANC T-shirt in the mail ready to be mailed in 2018! We love you Telkom supporters!

  • Ricardo

    >>subsidies all this old man’s holding positions ?
    Do you mean ‘subsidise all these old men holding positions’? If you are a Telkom employee I think with your education you should be the first to go. And face up to it: the government/ANC policy of “transformation” is what has caused most of the problems, especially in the management, of SOEs. And Telkom is a SOE as Govt has most of the shares. Everything the ANC touches collapses.

  • Phumlani Buthelezi

    Telkom doesn’t know how to compete, they just a charity company that service customers with friendship, also positions are going with that comradeship forgetting what the need of customers. One customer ask for the service for more than six months before getting attention not even service

  • Ricardo

    As I said, it is the “transformation” or BEE and AA management that causes the problem everywhere.

  • Marie Jooste

    What information I have is that the CEO of Telkom saw that cellphone companies make a large profit of 7,5mil per worker and Telkom only 1,5 mil. So he reasons by decreasing his workforce he will make more money. Difference is that Telkom has landlines with cables getting damaged or stolen, optic cables. Telephone wires that cut, corroded, broken in wind storms, etc. Also installations and wiring through roofs, buildings and many other things that can go wrong.
    Cellphone companies have much less maintenance, with towers and replacing phones that broke, mostly at the owners expense.
    Will reducing personal work or will more people cancel their Telkom contracts due to bad service, because of staff shortage and join cellphone networks?
    Their service already is lacking. Ask anyone who need to call 10219

  • David

    He wont say anything most of the people that are going to be paid off are white…