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Unions get ready to fight Telkom over retrenchments

by , 09 July 2014

Yesterday, the South African Communications Union (SACU) said Telkom planned to cut 9,000 of its 19,000 workforce over the next six months. Both SACU and Solidarity are preparing to take Telkom to court over the possible job losses. Let's take a closer look at what's going on…

Telkom refutes claims of 9,000 job losses in six months

Telkom denies the SACU’s claim that Telkom plans to let go nearly half its workforce over the next six months, says Fin24. Following this claim by the SACU, both it and union Solidarity are taking legal action against Telkom.

At the end of last year, Sipho Maseko, the CEO of Telkom, said it “planned to cut a third of its employees,” reports IOL. Telkom is trying to cut costs to turn the business around.

Solidarity says it “filed papers to stop what it calls race-based retrenchments” at Telkom, says the SABC. Solidarity “represents mostly white workers”.

Telkom plans to save “R5 billion in five years” through cutting managerial jobs, adds the SABC.

Solidarity believe white workers are at risk of job losses

Solidarity believe “Telkom may use race as a factor when it starts retrenching workers,” notes iAfrica. But John Kruger, the deputy general secretary of the union, “admitted Telkom has not explicitly mentioned that it would use race as a criteria to retrench workers”.

Telkom has said it will look at “qualifications and experience in restructuring,” adds Fin24. The parastatal said that its racial make-up of its workers is just “one of the four criteria that will be applied”.

Shares in Telkom are up over 70% so far this year after “new management at the company… tightened its belt and posted a profit, notes Fin24”.

By market close last night, shares in Telkom were 1.8% higher.

Time will tell what happens with the legal fight between the SACU and Solidarity and Telkom.

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Unions get ready to fight Telkom over retrenchments
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