The Labour Court in Johannesburg has ruled that Telkom must stop their current restructuring and retrenchment processes, which planned to cut 4400 jobs through voluntary severance and early retirement packages.
The fixed line operator subsequently entered into talks with trade unions regarding the move. These talks fell through after trade union Solidarity accused Telkom of going back on a previous agreement which required Telkom to meet with trade unions and reach a settlement before the company could embark on a restructuring process.
“In terms of this agreement, Telkom has to meet with trade unions and reach a settlement before the company may embark on a restructuring process. Although the unions had declared a dispute with Telkom on 19 June over the planned retrenchments, Telkom carried on to issue a section 189 retrenchment notice to trade unions on 22 June,” says Solidarity.
The judgement has ordered Telkom to retract its Section 189 restructuring notice. While this does not mean that it won’t eventually be back on the table, the union will now attempt to settle the existing dispute with Telkom, before exploring alternatives to retrenchments.
Telkom however is still planning to move forward with their ‘transformation process’.
According to Telkom CEO, Sipho Maseko, “Although the events of yesterday is a setback, it is only a temporary stay in our attempt to steer the company towards a financially sustainable future.”