Telkom is again planning to offer employees voluntary retrenchment and early retirement packages in a bid to cut costs.
The telecommunications company offered severance to managerial staff last year. In notes accompanying its interim results for the six months to September 2010, Telkom said 186 people opted to take a package at the time.
“This offer is purely voluntary and in no way tampers with the substantive agreement concluded with the three trade unions [the Communication Workers Union, the SA Communication Union and Solidarity] during 2009,” Telkom says in a statement. The planned job cuts come a month before the expiry of this two-year moratorium on enforced job cuts, agreed to with the unions.
The company says it met with unions this week. “The unions were formally consulted under the auspices of the company forum with the understanding that they would revert to their constituencies with Telkom’s proposal,” it says.
However, Solidarity has expressed concern about the retrenchment packages, saying it does not make sense “to get rid of skilled employees to the detriment of service delivery”.
Solidarity spokesperson Marius Croucamp says Telkom “has to put its cards on the table over the proposed packages and state the real reasons behind the move”.
He says Telkom should focus on retaining and developing critical skills within the organisation to improve service delivery instead of letting go of essential staff. Telkom says the cuts will be done to ensure crucial skills aren’t lost.
A further meeting between Telkom and the unions is planned. — Staff reporter, TechCentral