Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA) Archives

JOHANNESBURG – Pay-TV service provider MultiChoice is set to face a strike on Friday at its customer care call centres and the walk-in centres led by union Information Communication Technology (ICTU). 

ICTU said on Thursday that  MultiChoice had sent a letter threatening civil litigation against  the union for “launching first historic strike” against the company.

“The strike action will begin tomorrow, August 23, 2019 and it is expected to inconvenience all 7.7million customers who are either having payment or service queries. This strike comes at the time when MultiChoice has deployed new integrated billing system on 21 August and it is experiencing its own failures," it said in a statement. 

MultiChoice in June announced it was planning to retrench up to 2194 in its customer service operations. ICTU said on Thursday that the strike was “in support of ICTU submission and position within retrenchments proceedings that MultiChoice has failed to provide evidence and or withheld proper evidence of their rationale as required by the law. Section 189 of Labour Relations Act (Act) compels the employer to reason its rationale for dismissals on operational basis, which included providing substantiated and or prima facie evidence”.  

ICTU alleged that MultiChoice withheld or failed to provide information that ICTU had requested.

"This compelling information will disclose the actual contemplation of retrenchments as the Act compels the employer to divulge such information and MultiChoice has failed to answer this question with arrogance that comes with billions of rand’s profit it comes with."

MultiChoice earlier this monthreleased its first integrated annual report since its listing on the JSE in February and revealed that it had paid a combined R54.38 million in total remuneration packages for its four executive directors.

The MultiChoice Group includes MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa and Irdeto.In the year to end March, the group reported total revenue of R50.1billion, a trading profit of R7bn and core headline earnings of R1.8bn.

Mawela said in the annual report that during the financial year 2019, the group concluded a restructure to align its structures with the company strategy and to reposition the business for growth.

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