Solidarity fights Telkom’s ‘racial lay-offs’

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Solidarity intended using social media and court action to stop what it said were race-based retrenchments at Telkom, the trade union said yesterday.

“In terms of legislation, race may not be used as a criterion during a retrenchment process,” deputy general secretary Johan Kruger said. “Solidarity has therefore embarked on an extensive campaign to put a stop to this unfair practice.”

Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty said last week that the company would use various criteria during retrenchments.

“It is important to note that employment equity is only one of the criteria that will be applied to these processes.”

Other criteria included qualifications and experience, best fit for the job and “last one in, first one out”.

“That will be when more than one employee qualifies for a position,” Chetty said.

Kruger said the union was prepared to take the matter to the Constitutional Court if necessary. “This type of practice is destructive and will simply give employers a way to improve their black economic empowerment grading during retrenchment processes.”

One aspect of Solidarity’s campaign was a petition, which would be delivered to Telkom chief executive Sipho Maseko.

The union also intended lodging documents with the Labour Court in Johannesburg. to oppose the use of race as a criterion.

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