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Union vows to fight Telkom over ‘retrenchment’

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Solidarity will take legal action if any of its members working at Telkom are fired, the trade Union said on Thursday.

“Should some of our members be forcefully retrenched, we will attend to each case individually,” said spokesman Marius Croucamp.

“Solidarity will therefore consider taking legal action if we find it necessary.”

Croucamp was speaking in relation to a retrenchment process of management and specialist workers that was implemented as part of Telkom’s turnaround strategy. The union represented 16 of the 105 workers who had received termination notices at the beginning of the month — giving them one month’s notice before they were no longer employed.

Earlier this week, Solidarity asked Telkom to retract the termination letters sent to the affected workers. However, on Tuesday the company issued a statement in which it said it refused to do so.

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

It said affected staff were given opportunities to apply for positions determined within the new structures of the company or to take voluntary retrenchment or pension packages.

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

“Simply placing people into positions, regardless of their competencies, qualification or experience just to avoid their retrenchment, would be a huge disservice to the business,” Telkom said at the time.

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