Telkom hits back at Solidarity - TechCentral


Telkom hits back at Solidarity


Telkom has hit back at allegations levelled against it by Solidarity spokesman Marius Croucamp, providing information it says shows that the trade union made false statements in a media interview on Thursday.

Croucamp told TechCentral that Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko was “lying” when he said at a press conference this week that the Communication Workers Union (CWU) was the majority union in Telkom and that the South African Communications Union (Sacu) and Solidarity were close to following CWU’s example by signing a wage deal with Telkom.

Under the Labour Relations Act, if a majority union reaches a wage settlement with an employer, the terms of the settlement are applied to members of other unions, even if those unions have not reached a settlement themselves.

On Thursday, Croucamp lashed out at Telkom and Maseko, accusing them of dishonesty and claiming that the telecommunications operator was blocking communications between Solidarity representatives and the union’s members.

Both Croucamp and Sacu president Michael Hare said that contrary to statements made at Telkom’s press conference, the CWU is not the majority union and argued the agreement signed between it and Telkom is thus not binding on their unions’ members.

On Friday afternoon, Telkom supplied TechCentral with tables (see below) that it says support its claim that the CWU is, in fact, the majority union and has been since wage talks with the unions began.

Unionised Telkom employees 30 June 2013

Trade unionNo of membersPercentage
CWU6 65352,3%
Sacu3 49527,5%
Solidarity2 58620,3%

All Telkom bargaining unit employees 30 June 2013

Trade unionNo of employeesPercentage
CWU6 65339,1%
Sacu3 49520,5%
Solidarity2 58615,2%
Non-unionised4 29725,2%

Telkom has also also again dismissed Solidarity’s accusation that the company is blocking communication with the union’s members. “Telkom has established that the computer belonging to the Solidarity member responsible for the distribution of the communication had a technical fault. The company has offered its assistance to resolve the fault.”

In addition, Telkom has supplied tables to TechCentral detailing how many employees fall above and below the 50th percentile, a key consideration for the increases they will receive. According to Telkom’s figures, only 443 of Solidarity’s members will receive a once-off payment rather than a three-year increase.

Finally, the company has confirmed that it has received written commitment from Sacu that, following its internal processes, the union intends to sign the proposed agreement. “Telkom’s statement made at yesterday’s media briefing was based on this written commitment.”  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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