Telkom has been forced to cut jobs because of weak economic conditions, a decline in fixed-line voice revenue, and the migration from fixed to mobile data products.
This is according to Mooketsi Mocumi, the executive for Group Communication at Telkom who was speaking to the SABC.
Telkom recently announced plans to cut as many as 3,000 jobs across the company and has served unions with letters regarding the Section 189 process.
“Telkom will continue to consult with the unions, and it is our hope that through considered engagement with the unions, we will come to a mutually beneficial solution,” the company said.
This announcement did not sit well with unions, which argued that Telkom can do a lot more to create a sustainable business and train staff to take up new positions.
Telkom job cut plans
Mocumi said that apart from the weak economy and struggling business units, the company has to address inefficiencies in the business.
He explained that job cuts are needed to address these issues, which will initially affect three business units – Consumer, Openserve, and Trudon.
These three business units will be targeted in the first phase of job cuts which will happen between January and April.
The second phase, which will take place between May and August, will look to cut staff at the Telkom head office.
Mocumi said the conciliation process will inform the way forward and which packages will be offered to affected employees.
Unions set to fight back
Worker unions are not happy with Telkom’s plan and vowed to fight against job cuts at the company.
Solidarity has requested a moratorium on Telkom retrenchments, arguing that they threaten the company’s financial sustainability.
It requested an aggressive retraining programme to be implemented to equip workers with new skills to help Telkom grow in a fast-changing environment.
The trade union added that Telkom cannot pay its executive team more than R100 million and then get rid of 3,000 of its employees.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said they will also fight the job cuts and urged workers to unite against the onslaught from Telkom.
CWU Secretary-General Aubrey Tshabalala took aim at Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko and former chairperson Jabu Mabuza, saying their corporate plan has failed.
He said Telkom’s management “is eager to just dismiss workers”, which demonstrates that the privatization of state-owned enterprise yields no results.