Telkom has cut a further 1 184 jobs through voluntary retrenchments, representing more than 8% of the company’s workforce, prompting trade union Solidarity to warn of a “massive skills shortage”.
Telkom confirmed that a total of 1 629 applications had been received in time for the deadline of Thursday last week.
“Telkom reviewed all applications with the intention of retaining essential skills wherever necessary. We approved 73% of those applications,” the company said in response to a query from TechCentral.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko had written to staff saying the company was nearing the end of a “long and hard marathon”.
“We have made so much progress and we all want to get to that finish line,” he is reported to have written in a letter.
Trade union Solidarity, meanwhile, has criticised the latest round of staff reductions, warning that it will lead to a “massive skills shortage in the company”.
Marius Croucamp, deputy general secretary of the communication industry at Solidarity, said in a statement that it is “clear that Telkom is in a hurry to get rid of a large number of employees”.
“We maintain that Telkom is abusing the fact that its employees are currently vulnerable and feeling uncertain about their future at the company. The result will be the loss of thousands of highly skilled employees with years of experience in the industry. In addition, the company’s service delivery levels will suffer.”
Croucamp said Telkom is reducing staff numbers for the 10th consecutive year. In the same period, it has shed about 10 000 jobs, he said.
Telkom said it continues to engage with labour unions on further staff reductions. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media