Telkom wage negotiations must resume: CCMA

The CCMA has called on Telkom and trade unions to resume wage negotiations, trade union Solidarity said on Thursday.

A strike would be the last resort as a solution should be found at the negotiating table, Solidarity spokesman Marius Croucamp said in a statement.

Telkom and the trade unions would resume talks on June 12, after which the matter would again be heard by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on June 24.

“Telkom is standing by its offer of a six percent increase as part of a three-year agreement,” said Croucamp.

“The telecommunications giant is also sticking to the omission of the condition that no forced retrenchments will take place during the three years.”

He said Solidarity was unhappy with the omission. The union had already presented an amended offer, which included the condition, to their members to obtain a mandate.

“We are concerned that the omission of this condition may lead to forced retrenchments,” he said.

“We are, however, still more than willing to negotiate with Telkom and will submit any fair offer from the employer to our members.”

Telkom and unions met at the CCMA on Wednesday.

Telkom submitted an amended wage offer to the unions before the matter was heard by the CCMA.

Negotiations around the amended offer also reached deadlock.

Croucamp said Telkom embarked on a process to offer voluntary severance packages and voluntary early retirement packages to its entire work force of around 21,000.

He said Solidarity had learned that more than 1500 employees had already accepted the packages.

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Telkom wage negotiations must resume: CCMA