Telkom’s unhappy staff

Telkom announced that it plans to reduce its management head count, an action bound to cause unhappiness in any organization.  Retrenchments are however not the only issue lowering staff morale at the fixed line operator.

Recent unhappiness with salary discrepancies at Telkom’s Data Advanced Services (DAS) unit are reaching boiling point at the company.

Trade Union Solidarity said in March that “Employees of all three trade unions in Telkom’s largest single unit, Data Advanced Services (DAS), are unhappy about salary discrepancies between them and employees of the company’s Merlot project, a unit responsible for the company’s largest contracts.”

This debacle now seems to have spilled over into industrial action.  Telkom confirmed that there was action of some kind from the Communication Workers Union, but the company would not give further details – referring MyBroadband to the CWU instead.

Telkom did however say that “Telkom and Organised Labour are continuing with the engagement process. In this regard, after yesterday’s (27 May) special Company Forum on the Data Advanced Services (DAS) dispute, proposals and counter-proposals have been tabled by the respective parties.”

“The parties are currently engaging with their respective principals with regard to the said proposals and it is envisaged that the engagement process will be resumed once this engagement process has been concluded by all the parties.” 

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) could not immediately be reached for comment regarding their dispute with Telkom and whether they are planning any further action against Telkom.

Trade Union Solidarity said that they are currently also in discussions with Telkom regarding a multitude of issues its membership and Telkom staff are unhappy with, but made it clear that any strike action is not currently on the cards.

Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said that they will first have to exhaust all possible avenues to ensure that their members’ needs are served before declaring a dispute with the company and embark on strike action.

This comes at a time when Telkom’s top management is also under fire.  According to the Mail & Guardian Telkom’s head of procurement, Stafford Augustine; its head of network infrastructure provisioning, Marius Mostert; and Telkom International managing director Thami Msimango were all asked to step down this week.

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Telkom’s unhappy staff