The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) has demanded that Cell C withdraw the retrenchment notice to workers.
ICTU is an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), which is led by Zwelinzima Vavi.
The union is the sole worker representative at Cell C.
Earlier today, the ICTU announced that Cell C has served retrenchment notices to all its 2 500 staff members. For more read: Debt-Ridden Cell C Serves Retrenchment Notices to 2500 Employees
Today ICTU met with Cell C’s major shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms together with senior management of CellC.
“Today’s urgent meeting, which was prioritized over a planned first consultation with the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, ended up looking like the first sparring meeting,” said the ICTU.
Key to the agenda was discussion of retrenchment notices served to all 2 500 CellC employees.
The ICTU, Cell C’s executive and board have agreed to form a task team to look into matters raised by the union and the chief submission is to discuss the withdrawal of retrenchment notification.
“Parties agreed that next urgent meeting which will only be attended by the Executive and ICTU, on the 29 June, will focus on the mechanics of addressing various issues that were raised by ICTU, including the withdrawal of Sec189 letters,” ICTU spokesperson, Thabang Mothelo, told TechFinancials.
He added that ICTU has reminded the board that Cell C has lost R12 billion of profit on the last two financial years and the chief reason of the big loss of R7.36 billion was a wild cat strike of over 7 weeks where Cell C has to succumb to sign Collective Recognition Agreement.
“The ICTU has made it clear that workers will down tools until Sec189 is withdrawn and it is investors, not management, that will be the worst losers,” said Mothelo.
ICTU, which has agreed to take 6% on salary increase instead of on 8% which was their official position, did so in order to sustain Cell C liquidity and to avoid retrenchment, he added.
“ICTU’s submission that the acceptance of 6% included the consideration of Cell C will not retrench,” explains Mothelo.
“ICTU will not accept anything less than withdrawal of the retrenchment notice to workers.”
He added that the ICTU would re-look into the recapitalization process, which was a condition of saving workers from retrenchment.
“Cell C will not get what it wants both ways, this is a non-negotiable stance. The ICTU’s stance is that if Cell C wants to play with fire and lose everything, it should insist on retrenchments.”