Telecommunications provider Telkom said that it will overlook unions and present its employees with voluntary severance and early retrenchment packages directly. The announcement by the communications company follows a log jam in negotiations with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) a few weeks ago. This restructuring excess by Telkom can affect about 1,236 temporary and contract employees by a Section 197 process at the company.
Section 197 process of the company provides to the outsourcing of services at Telkom. During negotiations, Telkom cited that it offered all unions the chance to access Voluntary Severance Packages (VSP) and Voluntary Early Retirement Packages (VERP) for their affected members.
It is believed that SACU and Solidarity accepted the offer but the CWU declined. Telkom said it has spent some time trying to engage with the CWU to try and secure and equitable outcome for employees affected by the Section 197 process. As such, Telkom said it was exercising its right as the employer thereby directly approaching its affected employees.
Telkom cited that it respects the right of its employees to choose to be affiliated to a union and that it was aware that union members are also its employees. The company vowed that its affected employees made it very clear that they want the option of a VSP or VERP in making their final decision. The company said that all members of the CWU who are affected by the current Section 197 process are now eligible to apply for a VSP or VERP.