Unions outraged over Telkom planned retrenchments

The Communication Workers Union and Solidarity say retrenchments should be the last resort.

JOHANNESBURG - Unions have come out guns blazing after Telkom announced it intends cutting 3 000 jobs by the end of March.

The telecommunications giant says it has no other option but to go through a retrenchment process if it's to survive.

The Communication Workers Union and Solidarity say retrenchments should be the last resort.

They believe the upskilling of staff must be part of Telkom's new growth strategy.

“We know there has been pressure with probability and with regard to their share price. We, however, believe that retrenchments should be a last resort. And not a first point of call. We don’t believe that there has to be an adversarial relationship. And simply cutting employees instead of upskilling them,” said senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute, Morné Malan.

READ: Telkom plans to cut thousands of jobs

The proposed job cuts will see Telkom letting go of about a fifth of its entire workforce.

The telecommunications company says its back is against the wall.

“What we’re proposing is as opposed …leaving them out in the cold,” said Telkom spokesperson, Mooketsi Mocumi.

READ: Cell C drops Telkom

But the move has been good for Telkom's share price, which increased by almost 8-percent on Wednesday, just hours after it announced the retrenchments.

Telkom has recently been struggling to keep investor confidence strong amid a decline in fixed-line customers, lower revenue and increasing debt.

Next week, unions and Telkom will have consultations with the CCMA on who will mediate the restructuring process

Source
eNCA