Telkom has secured an urgent court interdict against the Communication Workers Union (CWU) amid allegations of violence and intimidation at a strike against the company.
A strike against Telkom turned ugly on Monday as the company alleged that some staff were “physically shoved” and “threatened” outside its Centurion office in Gauteng.
But the Johannesburg labour court has ordered that the CWU restrains its striking members from certain “illegal activities”, said Telkom.
The court order then halts CWU from “blocking Telkom entrances” to its premises in all provinces, interfering with business operations and threatening non-striking staff.
Striking workers and CWU members also have to carry out their labour action 50m away from Telkom premises, according to the court order.
“Today, the CWU blocked access to the Telkom campus in Centurion, along with some Telkom yards. Less than 100 CWU members today chose to harass and intimidate employees in Centurion,” said Telkom in a statement.
“There were also some reports of blockades and intimidation at a few Telkom facilities elsewhere in the country. Employees in Centurion were physically restrained by protesting workers from entering the Telkom campus and were threatened with physical injury,” said the company.
But CWU President Clyde Mervin has played down the allegations of violence and intimidation at the Telkom strike. “Until today, for us, there is no intimidation at all,” Mervin said.
“In terms of people being intimidated and threatened, I don’t think so.”
Mervin added that CWU members have also stopped blocking entrances to Telkom’s office properties.
He added that while “our members have come out in numbers”, his union “won’t allow any intimidation”.
CWU said it launched a nationwide strike against Telkom last Thursday.
The union said that almost 4 000 of its members joined the strike.
However, Telkom has disputed this figure saying that only 100 striking workers were outside the Telkom campus in Centurion on Monday. Meanwhile, on Friday, 453 people were on strike across the country, according to Telkom.