JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity on Thursday called on Cell C to stop retrenching staff, after an employee committed suicide this week.
The union said it had been speaking to the man's family who believe that he was pushed over the edge by the possibility of losing his job.
Cell C vehemently denied the employee was officially told he would be retrenched.
An estimated 150 people stand to lose their jobs as the company moves to streamline its business.
“We are dealing with people’s lives here,” warned Solidarity's Marius Croucamp.
“There’s a delicate way that one has to deal with this kind of restructuring in a big company.
“We cannot give people this kind of message on a Friday when they’re about to knock off for the weekend.”
On Thursday it was reported that Cell C was busy with a process of consultations which could lead to retrenchments.
The company said it was overstaffed in many areas and in order to streamline the business and make it more competitive a new process had to be implemented.
The company announced last week that its majority shareholder, a Dubai-based company, is injecting about R1,5 billion.
The funding will be used to support the company's plans, which include improving the quality and coverage of its cellular network.
Meanwhile, a close friend of the man who committed suicide said family and friends were left devastated by his death.
Johan Marx said his close friend Andre Ankiewicz gave everything to the company.
“He put effort in, he put in blood, sweat and tears, hi over time. He took time away from his family because of loyalty to the company.
“At age 51 they take all of that away from you with one letter and they call it good business practice.”
(Edited by Clare Matthes)