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Telkom ordered to halt retrenchments

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Telkom’s planned retrenchment of 105 workers was halted by the Johannesburg Labour Court on Wednesday, the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) said.

“As we will be going back to the table we will make it clear to Telkom that their plan to sell and retrench is opposed by ICTU unapologetically,” spokesman Thabang Mothelo said in a statement.

The union brought an urgent application against the telecommunications service provider. He said the court not only stopped the current proceedings, but also compelled Telkom to furnish ICTU with all relevant information which Telkom had not previously done.

The company said in October that letters had been issued as part of a legitimate process and that it needed to focus on “long-term commercial sustainability”.

It said affected staff were given the opportunity to apply for new positions, or to take voluntary retrenchment or pension packages.

A total of 676 of the workers affected by the process had been placed in alternative positions within Telkom, while 302 took voluntary severance packages.

Trade union Solidarity said in October that 105 workers, of which it represents 16, received termination notices at the beginning of the month — giving them one month’s notice before they were no longer employed.

“Telkom’s sin was to retrench employees by serving them with notices that their employment will be terminated, prior to consultation,” Mothelo said on Wednesday.

Telkom was not immediately available for comment. SAPA

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