Cosatu rejects Telkom’s planned job cuts

Congress of South African Trade Unions head offices.


Cosatu called on government to intervene and put a stop to the “unilateral retrenchments that have been taking place at Telkom for the last 10 years”.

As part of Telkom’s multi-year turnaround, the company announced on 26 February that a restructuring of its corporate centre would take place through a Section 189 process. However, the federation said Telkom had already proved that they were not dealing with stakeholders, including Cosatu affiliate Communication Workers Union (CWU), in good faith, by proceeding with the announcement.

Cosatu national spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla said, “We agree with CWU that this crude stunt by Telkom is a sneaky attempt to subvert the wage negotiations process. This is a clear sign that partial privatisation does not improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises and will always result in massive job losses.”

Pamla said the action taken by Telkom made a mockery of government’s commitment to create jobs and to improve the country’s telecommunications infrastructure. “Telkom is not acting in line with the State’s developmental agenda, but is only focusing on generating profits at the expense of the workers,” he said.

However, Telkom’s managing executive of group communication, Jacqui O’Sullivan said, “Telkom informed unions of its intention to pursue a Section 189 process, within its corporate centre, which may impact about 300 people.”

O’Sullivan stated that Telkom planned to outsource in the region of 260 ‘roles’ in its shared service environment through a parallel Section 197 (outsourcing) process. The Section 197 process involves the outsourcing of roles and no jobs will be lost. She said Telkom’s first CCMA-facilitated consultation on the current Section 189 process would begin on 8 March.

Sipho Maseko, Telkom group chief executive officer said, “We have made important progress on our turnaround in the past two years, but we still have a lot to do. We have to change and improve the way we work and how we deliver products and services to our customers.

“Our new operating model is driving this and while these changes are never easy, the streamlining of our corporate centre is an important step in delivering a sustainable and growing Telkom.”

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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