Trade union concerns delay Cell C CCMA process
DURBAN - The Section 189 consultation process at Cell C facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) was delayed on Friday due to complaints raised by organised labour, the company said.
Cell C, South Africa’s third-biggest telecoms company, initiated a section 189 consultation process with the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU), the majority union at its operations, over its proposed plan to cut 40 percent of its workforce.
“Cell C is of the view that the ICTU union is using delay tactics in this process,” the company said.
Cell C said the CCMA commissioner had agreed to take under review only two of the issues raised by the union, including that the section 189 notice was defective in the manner in which it was served.
The CCMA also took under review concerns that in terms of the collective agreement, the ICTU should be the sole representative in this process on behalf of all employees within the bargaining unit.
ICTU is opposed to the proposed job cuts. ICTU spokesperson Thabang Mothelo said on Friday that the CCMA made the ruling after it raised concerns that the consultation proceedings were grossly defective.
“The CCMA Commissioner ruled that the proceedings are irregular and would need to make a further ruling on whether the current Section 189 process should proceed or not,” Mothelo said.
Last month, Cell C announced plans to cut 960 out of its 2500 total staff complement, citing that it was part of the implementation of a new organisational structure.
“Key to the defective process is that Cell C has drummed up support of non-unionised workers to represent themselves within the proceedings, which is unlawful. Furthermore, some Cell C senior executives were irregularly representing workers, despite that senior management employees retrenchment consultations, where they are affected, has not been legally concluded,” said Mothelo.
ICTU had until close of business tomorrow to make a written submission with their arguments to support their complaint, while Cell C had until Thursday to respond, thereafter the CCMA is expected to make a ruling.
Cell C said it remained committed to being fully compliant with the applicable laws and processes and looked forward to these preliminary issues being resolved speedily.
“No final decision has been made in the section 189 process, and the consultation process with affected employees is meant to obtain input for consideration before a final decision is made,” said Cell C.
Cell C has reviewed its operating model, which had resulted in a number inefficiencies and contributed to a number of operating and financial challenges.
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