Trade union Solidarity says it will ask Telkom to front up on several controversial issues relating to its restructuring process, which it says, could affect up to 10,000 employees.
Telkom has confirmed both a section 197 (employee transfer) and a section 189 (temporary employee) process taking place, but has not released specific figures or details regarding the number of affected employees.
Telkom said it aims to “unlock further cost efficiencies” within four areas of its business, namely, certain Telkom’s Direct Stores, Call Centres, IT Legacy Systems and internal printing and Supply Chain and Properties.
As part of its cost cutting measures, Telkom said that it is no longer viable to continue running 20 of its 95 Telkom Direct stores.
Marius Croucamp, head of Solidarity’s Communication Industry said that Solidarity will confront Telkom head-on to clear up the uncertainty over these issues.
“The latest process of restructuring has caused a commotion among the company’s employees. Since it was announced, we have been inundated with enquiries from our members,” Croucamp said.
“Employees and other interested parties are in the dark about the ultimate goal of the process, as Telkom is intentionally withholding certain details.”
Solidarity will hold consultations with Telkom’s management today (25 February), and will put forward five questions:
- Does Telkom admit that as many as 10,000 employees will eventually be affected by the restructuring?
- Is there any truth in the rumour that Telkom has already signed contracts with various service providers in terms of which Telkom employees will be transferred and core services outsourced, even though there has been no consultation with trade unions regarding this issue?
- Can Telkom give the assurance that employees who are transferred will have job security for at least the next three years?
- Was the effect of the restructuring on service delivery taken into consideration and were any temporary plans implemented to maintain service delivery?
- What is the business rationale behind the plans for Telkom to supply broadband Internet access to rural areas? Will Telkom be able to do so at a profit?