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Union Threatens Total Shut Down of Cell C Over Proposed Job Cuts

The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) has threatened to shut down Cell C after the embattled mobile phone operator failed to reach an agreement with the union.

ICTU has filed an urgent application at the Johannesburg Labour Court to stop embattled Cell C from carrying out processes that could lead to the retrenchment of workers.

Cell C is facing off with the ICTU at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) regarding retrenchments.

The ICTU, which is an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions led by Zwelinzima Vavi, is the sole worker representative at Cell C.

The union disclosed that as of Monday, 5 October 2020, it would protest outside Cell C offices in Sandton. The union said it would be joined by the African Democratic Change and possible SAFTU and EFF.

“Due to the arrogance displayed by the company and  its disregard on the submissions made by ICTU to the CCMA, ICTU now has prepared and organized its 1600 members to put both companies to the edge and intends to shut down Cell C operations nationally,” ICTU president, Moeketse Lepheana, said on Friday afternoon.

“CCMA and Cell C’s insistence to continue un-procedurally is a clear violation of the CCMA Notice of information required in section 189A facilitation process”.

He added that it is now in a face-off with Cell C and Blue Label Telecoms, the biggest shareholder in the embattled company.

“ICTU has tried in vain to provide leadership during the retrenchment dilemma despite Cell C management being represented by external senior advocates in meetings of section189 which renders the entire process illegal,” explains Lepheana.

“The CCMA having being made aware of the presence of the external advocates opted to endorse their presence and to continue with the process. ICTU shop stewards raised issues of jurisdiction and the subsequent prejudice on the 1600 employees.”

ICTU has further advised Investec Bank to immediately pay employees the Believe Scheme shares which have vested and payments were due on 1st September 2020.

“ICTU has further given Investec Bank an opportunity to give a date of payment of shares before the 15th October 2020 or else they will face the might of the angry members,” said  Lepheana.

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