Telkom has told trade unions that it was starting a retrenchment process.
Telkom has told trade unions that it was starting a retrenchment process.

Telkom has served unions with letters regarding planned retrenchments of 3,000 workers, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said on Wednesday.

The proposed job cuts will affect nearly a fifth of its workforce. As of the end of September, Telkom had 15,197 employees.

“Yesterday [Tuesday], we were in a strategic meeting with the CEO. However that strategic session was reduced into a briefing session, where they told us how the voice business has dropped and that this compelled them to embark on a restructuring process,” said CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala.

“This morning [Wednesday], while still trying to digest Tuesday’s meeting. We received two letters ... from Telkom and Trudon, Telkom’s subsidiary, which informed us of their plans to reduce the workforce.” 

Tshabalala said the union had still to respond to the letters.

He said there were processes that the employer still needed to fulfil in terms of the Labour Relations Act, such as informing the employees on the reason for the planned retrenchments.

Tshabalala said Telkom had proposed meetings  next Wednesday and Thursday for consultations.

“We need to respond with a programme of action,” he said, without elaborating.

He said employees were bitter about this development, particularly as they had not had increases for a number of years. He said the government was a major shareholder in Telkom and should not be seen to be at the forefront of retrenchments.

Trade union Solidarity confirmed its members had received notice of the process. 

Correction: January 16, 2020

An earlier version of this article misstated that Telkom  employs 9,000  people. 

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