Pursuant to trade union Solidarity’s claims that Telkom plans to retrench 4000 contract and temporary employees, the company has released a statement saying that as part of the existing substantive agreement between Telkom and organised labour as represented by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), South African Communications Union (SACU) and Solidarity, there is a two-year moratorium (1 April 2009 to 31 March 2011) with regard to the forceful retrenchment of permanent employees.
Telkom currently employs just over 4000 temporary staff who have been acquired through service providers (labour brokers) to deal specifically with variations in our need for human resources due to cyclical business circumstances. The statement also indicates that there is a need to reduce temporary staff in certain business areas based on current and future business requirements.
Telkom says that it is not directly terminating the employees of the labour brokers but is reducing the levels of service provided by these suppliers. The process of reviewing the services rendered by third party suppliers will continue as the Company endeavours to drive down costs in our business operations and processes.
The temporary reduction programme is aimed at reducing the number of temporary employees and not full-time employees. Therefore, as stated above, the process does not have any impact on the agreed moratorium on the forceful retrenchment of full-time employees.
Telkom and organised labour have been in extensive discussions and a Task Team, comprising of management and organised labour, has been established to deal specifically with this matter. The Task Team will meet during the course of next week and recommendations will be made to Telkom’s Restructuring and Company Forums in order to ensure a coherent way forward with the support of organised labour.
As per an agreement with CWU, Telkom has agreed to defer the termination of temporary employees until 31 December 2009.