Court blocks Telkom job cuts


File: Solidarity is making an urgent application to the courts, which Telkom plans to fight.

JOHANNESBURG – The Labour Court has ordered Telkom to halt job cuts and open dialogue with unions.
“We are disappointed by the judgment and we are obviously study the full judgment to determine our next steps but it is a temporary delay.
"The restructuring of Telkom has to continue, it is a key business requirement for us as Telkom to restructure this organisation, to make sure there is a Telkom in the future and a Telkom that is sustainable," said Telkom spokesperson Jacqui O&39;Sullivan.
"So while today&39;s (Wednesday) order is a delay in the process, it is a temporary delay. The judge has ordered that the dispute be referred to the CCMA within next five days.
"And he was also very clear that the CCMA expedite the resolution of dispute which relates specially to info sharing. So we hopeful we can resolve the dispute and get back on track as soon as possible," she added.
Unions had taken the company to court to stop it from restructuring and retrenching more than 4,000 workers.
The telecommunications giant plans to offer voluntary severance packages to the workers and place a further 3,000 with outsourcing companies.
Trade union Solidarity made the urgent application supported by the Communication Workers Union and the SA Communication Union.
The unions had argued that Telkom was disregarding an agreement from 2008, which states that all parties should agree to terms prior to any restructuring.
Solidary said Telkom had not shared enough information with unions “to engage properly in term of retrenchment and restructuring”. 
But the company argued that they held meetings with unions where they answered questions on the restructuring process.

"Telkom has engaged extensively with organised labour and will continue to follow all required processes to ensure we continually seek to serve both the best interest of the business, as well as our people," said O&39;Sullivan.