Telkom CEO’s letter to striking employees

The strike at Telkom is continuing, with many employees facing a tough time financially due to the company’s no work, no pay rule.

This follows Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko informing staff that talks between the company and the CWU at the CCMA had failed.

Maseko said he has “therefore decided to implement the 50th percentile adjustment which will ensure all employees below the 50th percentile within the bargaining unit are brought up to an equal minimum level”.

He said Telkom has gone out of its way “to meet with CWU to ensure we find a resolution to the strike”.

“I encourage CWU members who are on strike to come back to work. In these difficult and trying economic times it is important for you to be at work.”

Maseko has once again encouraged workers to return to work, to avoid financial difficulties, in a letter on 28 August.

Telkom responds to requests for assistance from striking employees

As you are aware, the strike by some members of CWU has been underway from 1 August 2016. This is a legal and protected strike. CWU members are acting within their rights to withhold their labour. Our policy of “no work no pay” continues to apply.

We also noted last week that employees whom have been on strike since the start of the month, would not be paid on the 25th of this month. Salaries are paid at the end of each month in recognition for the services rendered to Telkom during that month. Those employees who joined the strike from the 1st of August up to the 12th of August, unpaid leave was captured for those days, ahead of the closure of the payroll on the 12th of August. CWU had indicated on 12 August, that the strike would be indefinite.

As previously communicated, a manual verification of days worked during August will be performed on the 31 August to establish how many days, if any, the striking employees worked during August 2016. Accordingly, employees’ August 2016 salary, if any, will only be paid after 31 August 2016 but no later than 7 September 2016, in accordance with the provisions of s32(3)(a) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 of 1997.

This is not a punishment but rather simple logic. We cannot pay employees for services they did not render.

However, this is obviously a concern for those affected. We all have monthly expenses and most of those cannot be moved or negotiated. In the past few days, I have personally received a number of emails from employees who have been a part of the strike and who are now affected by the “no work no pay” principle. These employees are pleading for an intervention for the sake of their families. I respect the role of unions and I respect the right of people to join a protected strike. However, you are all Telkom employees. I have always committed to do right by our people and it is in that spirit that I extend the following voluntary offer.

Any employee affected by the “no work no pay” principle may return to work. On their return, the company will immediately start to process payments due to the employee for the month of August, for which payment will be made on or before 7 September.

It is not my intention to undermine CWU, I am simply attempting to assist innocent wives, husbands, children and extended families, who have written to me for assistance. Affected employees need to inform the company immediately when they return to work in order to start the verification process. Employees can inform the company via the SAP Portal. Details will be provided by emails and text messages to all affected employees

We have met with the CWU at the CCMA. SACU and Solidarity have already agreed to what we believe to be a fair and reasonable offer. I hope the CWU will reconsider its position and avoid further unintended consequences to those dependent on the salaries of our people.

Best regards,

Sipho

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Telkom CEO’s letter to striking employees