The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) has secured a temporary reprieve from retrenchment at Cell C.
The union is demanding 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.
Today, ICTU started retrenchment consultations with CellC with a morale-boosting temporary victory.
“The CCMA Commissioner ruled that the proceedings are irregular and would need to make further ruling on whether current Sec 189 process should proceed or not,” ICTU spokesperson, Thabang Mothelo said.
“ICTU made representation to the Commissioner that the consultation proceedings are grossly defective hence the Commissioner’s ruling.”
The union said whilst it notes and appreciates the ruling, which it considers to be CellC’s first loss in the marathon of battles, it will not celebrate this significant reprieve.
ICTU said the focus was to avoid retrenchments in Cell C.
“This comes after 2500 employees were served with retrenchment notices.”
Mothelo added that key to the defective process is that CellC has drummed up support for non-unionized workers to represent themselves within the proceedings, which is unlawful.
Furthermore, some CellC senior executives were irregularly representing workers, despite the fact that senior management employees’ retrenchment consultations where they were affected have not been legally concluded, he said.
He further stated that ICTU has noted media reports that Cell C’s recapitalization financier, Gatsby SPV, a Chinese company, is reported to seek guarantees by retrenching workers to ensure financial guarantees. For more read: Chinese Investors Call Shots at Troubled Cell C, Insiders Claim
“ICTU would like to reiterate its call that CellC should withdraw retrenchment proceedings,” Mothelo said. “ICTU which has 60% representation at CellC urge non-unionized workers to join the Union to strengthen the battle that lies ahead.”
For more read: Cell C is in Such Bad Shape It’s Defaulting on Loans