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

Johannesburg - Over 2 000 MultiChoice employees have been served with retrenchment letters, as the broadcaster plans for a business “realignment”.

Employees were informed of the decision on Friday by MultiChoice Group chief executive Calvo Mawela.

The 2194 employees affected by the restructure come from MultiChoice’s customer care (call centre) and walk-in centre.

The pay-television operator said the restructure was part of the strategic realignment of its customer service delivery model, as customers preferred engaging “digitally” with the company.

“The realignment is a response to the changing behaviour of our customers, who are increasingly moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to walk-in centres and adopting new self-service and digital technologies to engage with the company,” said Mawela.

The Information Communication and Technology Union (Ictu) believes, however, that MultiChoice acted unlawfully .

“The employer has just notified employees, today (Friday) that it has identified employees who are to be retrenched. The union has not been officially informed, which makes the process unlawful,” said Thabang Mothelo, Ictu’s media officer.

Mothelo said the union would seek urgent engagement with MultiChoice to bring them up to speed.

“The employer has timed Friday to make the announcement, which shows some cowardice tendencies of not dealing with the consequences of their actions.”

Mawela said it was a difficult decision for the pay-television operator to make.

“As part of a comprehensive support programme agreed with unions and other employee representative forums, we will be offering voluntary severance packages, wellness support and financial planning, and will continue paying for current studies for MultiChoice bursary-funded employees and relevant skills development, among a range of benefits for impacted employees,” Mawela said.

The Saturday Star