Vodacom enforces restraints on ex-employees allegedly poached by MTN

The Labour Court has issued an order with the consent of ex-Vodacom employees, enforcing their restraint of trade and preventing them from working with MTN South Africa.

This follows recent reports of Vodacom staff being poached by MTN through a business named Tuum Communications.

Sources alleged that Vodacom’s staff and clients were being targeted and poached by MTN as part of a planned strategy.

MTN denied these allegations, stating that Tuum Communications is a company serving MTN’s enterprise business unit as a “new sales channel”.

“The channel development is being undertaken using a partnership model that is well known within the industry and will also facilitate entry to the telecommunications sector, particularly by black-owned companies,” MTN said.

Court ruling

Vodacom brought an application to the court requesting it to find that ex-Vodacom employees hired by Tuum Communications were acting in breach of their restraint of trade agreements.

The mobile operator argued that as Tuum Communications would be an exclusive service provider to MTN, its ex-employees should be prevented from being employed at the company due to their restraint of trade agreements.

“It appears that through the employment of ex-Vodacom employees in a business called Tuum Communications an attempt was made to circumvent the enforcement of their restraints,” Vodacom said in a statement.

“Tuum Communications was, allegedly, created by MTN to facilitate the poaching of high-priority staff and corporate customers from Vodacom.”

A Vodacom business spokesperson said the company was compelled to bring an applicationin the Labour Court to enforce the restraints against each of the ex-employees involved.

“The ex-employees have eventually consented to the relief that Vodacom sought in the application, having forced Vodacom to bring the application to the Labour Court,” the spokesperson said.

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Vodacom enforces restraints on ex-employees allegedly poached by MTN