‘Reckless, merciless’: Union blasts Telkom for swingeing job cuts

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko

Trade union Solidarity has slammed Telkom over its plan to cut up to 3 000 jobs, or 20% of its 15 000-strong workforce.

In a statement on Thursday, Solidarity described the planned cuts, first reported on late on Wednesday, as “reckless” in that they would “threaten the financial sustainability” of the company.

The union has written to Telkom asking for a moratorium on all forced retrenchments.

“A company cannot pay its executive team more than R100-million and then get rid of 3 000 of its workforce. That is reckless and, given the labour market retrenched workers have to face, it is merciless,” said Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann in the statement.

“In the previous financial year Telkom’s CEO, Sipho Maseko, alone took home a full R23-million,” he added.

“Solidarity is requesting that an aggressive retraining programme be implemented during the moratorium so workers can be equipped with new skills to help Telkom grow in the fast-changing information environment. Telkom workers must move forward with the company from fixed-line services to mobile services.”

Hermann said that when a company “fails to train its workforce for new challenges, it should not retrench the workers — it should get rid of the top management”.

‘Too many’

He described axing 3 000 employees as being “too many”. If staff numbers need to be reduced, this should be done through voluntary processes and natural staff turnover.

“The information technology environment is highly competitive and skilled workers are scarce. The uncertainty Telkom is creating will merely result in the best workers leaving first. This can lead to the company going into a downward spiral.”

The Communication Workers Union has also slammed the planned job cuts.  — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media

Source: techcentral.co.za