Cell C is involved in a consultation process over job cuts at the executive and management level, the company told MyBroadband.
“In early March 2020, Cell C initiated a consultation process in terms of section 189A (2) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, specifically at a senior manager and executive level, and advised employees of the possibility of redundancy of certain positions and contemplated retrenchments,” Cell C said.
It added that this process is still undergoing, and the final decision on the number of employees which will be retrenched is still undetermined.
“The company has not taken any final decisions with regard to the contemplated retrenchments and is currently in the consultation process with affected employees to obtain their input and reach joint consensus, under the facilitation of the CCMA,” Cell C said.
The Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) stated that Cell C’s consultation process regarding the retrenchment of management and senior executive employees is almost complete, adding that it opposes the retrenchment of more employees at the mobile operator.
Cell C noted that only a small percentage of its employees are affiliated with the ICTU.
“In this process, the ICTU represents only three employees,” Cell C told MyBroadband.
The mobile operator is faced with a difficult financial position and recently reflected a net loss after tax of R3.94 billion for the year ended 31 December 2019.
The turnaround plan for the company focuses on cutting costs and minimising operating expenses where possible.
Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson previously stated the company’s old operating model was inefficient, and their new business model would forgo excessive capital expenditure and other inefficiencies which existed previously.
“Old” vs “New” Cell C
Craigie Stevenson said that as part of its reorganisation, Cell C would do its best to up-skill and cross-skill staff and continue to improve the efficiency of the business.
“You can’t forget where Cell C was. As a business, it was hopelessly inefficient,” he said.
“At one stage we had probably around 2,900 staff. You compare that to Vodacom and MTN, and it does not make any sense.”
He also noted at the time that Cell C may face job cuts in the future, a prediction which has proven correct as the company currently negotiates with employees regarding retrenchments.
“As part of the recapitalisation, we will fund an up-skill and a cross-skill process to get us to the next level.”
“I can’t definitely say we won’t lose jobs, but I can tell you we will do a lot to make sure we cross-skill and up-skill our existing staff – especially the technical divisions,” he said.