Picture: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) vowed on Thursday to resist job losses at Telkom after the company announced plans to retrench 1000 workers.

“We will defend job losses. We want Telkom to engage us on what are the issues,” CWU deputy president Clyde Mervin told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said the union could share ideas with Telkom on how jobs could be saved.

“If today 1000 jobs are lost, tomorrow it could be worse. We will mobilise our members by making sure we have proper engagements with our structures of the union to ensure that it (retrenchment) becomes the last resort.”

The union was informed that about 1000 employees in managerial ranks would be retrenched.

CWU acting general secretary Thabo Mogalane said Telkom's actions were against government's objectives of job creation and retention.

“This public asset has already shed thousands of jobs and cannot afford another major jobs bloodbath.”

The company should be recruiting more workers to expand its operation in line with the developmental needs of the country.

“This exercise in desperation is nothing but sheer pursuit of profit maximisation for its own sake.”

Mogalane said the company's restructuring might be necessary but should not happen solely in the interest of the parastatal's private shareholders.

“We urge the company to explore alternatives. We shall oppose by all means any restructuring trajectory that negatively affects our members.”

Union president Cecil Mokhantso said the parastatal did not consult the CWU when it decided to retrench workers.

“Telkom never gave us the opportunity to say, look this is the challenge, what can you suggest should be the way forward.”

The union would consult the Congress of SA Trade Unions, SA Communist Party, and the African National Congress on the matter.

“We cannot win this fight alone,” Mokhantso said. - Sapa