Solidarity launches Telkom race campaign


Johannesburg - Solidarity intends using social media and court action to stop what it says are race-based retrenchments at Telkom, the trade union said on Tuesday.

“In terms of legislation, race may not be used as a criterion during a retrenchment process,” deputy general secretary Johan Kruger said in a statement.

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Telkom said in November that such a move would give both operators larger voice and data capacity at a lower price and that it hoped to conclude the proposal within this financial year which ends on March 31. Photo: Leon Nicholas

“Solidarity has therefore embarked on an extensive campaign to put a stop to this unfair practice.”

Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty last week said 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 qualification 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.

On Tuesday 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 CEO Sipho Maseko.

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


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