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Solidarity says Telkom’s voluntary severance offer is misleading workers

By Staff Writer

Trade union Solidarity today welcomed Telkom’s decision to abolish its Section 189 restructuring process in its entirety. However, the trade union cautions that, with its offering of voluntary severance packages, Telkom is misleading workers.

Marius Croucamp, spokesman at Solidarity, said Solidarity was of the opinion that many workers mistakenly consider a voluntary severance package as an attractive alternative while it is not necessarily the best option in the long run.

“A voluntary severance package merely presents a temporary solution for those who are seeking other work. Given the turbulent labour market, finding a job again is not easy either,” Croucamp said.

Croucamp added that in terms of a collective agreement Telkom is obliged to consult with trade unions before any short time or a wage freeze may be implemented.

Moreover, should Telkom wish to outsource any staff, the matter first has to be discussed with trade unions at its Restructuring Forum.

Last week, the Labour Court in Johannesburg ruled in Solidarity’s favour, ruling that Telkom’s restructuring and retrenchment processes be halted.

Yesterday, however, Telkom indicated that it would stop the process in its entirety and offered voluntary severance packages to non-trade union members. The court also ordered that trade unions refer a dispute to the Commission for Reconciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).”This matter will soon be heard by the CCMA,” said Solidarity.

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