2 400 take Telkom packages

Martin Czernowalow
By Martin Czernowalow, Contributor.
Johannesburg, 31 Jul 2015
It is not yet known what Telkom plans to do to reach its target of shedding 4 400 jobs.
It is not yet known what Telkom plans to do to reach its target of shedding 4 400 jobs.

Trade union Solidarity says it has learned that, up until yesterday morning, Telkom had accepted a total of 2 393 employees' applications for voluntary severance packages, adding these employees' services will officially end today.

According to Solidarity spokesperson Marius Croucamp, this number of applications comes as no surprise to the union.

"Given the volatile climate within Telkom, we anticipated a significant amount of employees would prefer to leave the company.

"Nonetheless, we remain highly concerned about the exodus of skilled Telkom workers and how this will affect the company's future endeavours and delivery of services," Croucamp says.

Telkom would not confirm any numbers, saying it would take a while to process the applications and that it would only make a public statement once this has been completed. Monday saw the official close of the company's application process for voluntary retrenchment packages and voluntary early retirement packages, as it looks to cut about 4 400 jobs.

While the company initially planned to embark on a large-scale retrenchment process, this was derailed by a Labour Court ruling on 8 July, which ordered the company to stop retrenching, pending the resolution of a dispute with trade unions related to information sharing.

Following the interdict, Telkom chose to withdraw the entire Section 189 process and initiate fresh discussions with organised labour, on alternate cost containment options, while also announcing it would trim staff numbers by offering voluntary packages to workers.

While Telkom would not comment on the number of staff members who applied for the packages, it would also not say what measures it would take to ensure it reached its target of slashing 4 400 jobs.