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Labour Court to decide on Telkom retrenchments

Trade union Solidarity approached the Labour Court to try and interdict Telkom from cutting over 4,000 jobs.

Telkom Towers. Picture: Telkom website.

JOHANNESBURG - Judgment is expected today in Trade union Solidarity's urgent application to prevent Telkom's planned restructuring which may lead to more than 4,000 job cuts.

The company announced last month almost 4,500 employees are expected to be offered voluntary severance or early retirement packages.

The union has gone to the Johannesburg Labour Court to try and interdict Telkom from cutting jobs.

Solidarity's Marius Croucamp said, "We're asking the judges to order Telkom to go back to its internal processes and also to put aside the retrenchment notice so we can first exhaust our internal processes."

Last month, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) vowed to fight the retrenchments and said if it went ahead, the blame should be laid at government's doorstep.

The union called on government to urgently step in insisting the decision to cut Telkom's workforce contradicts the state plan to create jobs.

But Telkom said it would work with unions as it planned to push ahead with job cuts.

The telecommunications company said this was the latest phase in its turnaround strategy implemented two years ago, and it's done everything possible to avoid the retrenchments, including restructuring management.

A further 3,400 workers will be transferred to outsourced companies.

The telecommunications company said after exhausting all avenues, it's now offering voluntary severance and early retirement packages.