Telkom has announced its plans to restructure four of their business units as part of their continuing cost-reduction programme. The business areas identified are various Telkom’s Direct stores, call centres, IT Legacy Systems and internal printing; and supply chain and properties.
Telkom has dismissed claims by unions that it will lay off 10,000 jobs, saying the claims are not a true reflection of their restructuring. In a statement, Telkom said as part of their turnaround strategy, the company would look at alternatives, such as joint ventures, to ensure that job losses would be avoided and only used as a very final course of action.
To this end, Telkom said it has completed a stringent procurement process and has identified external companies to undertake call centre operations, the management of IT legacy systems, a company to undertake the management of Telkom warehouses in the supply chain area of the business, as well as a company to take over internal printing activities.
Section 197 processes have been initiated for staff impacted in these areas of the business.
These affected employees will be transferred to their new employers in the coming months.
“Telkom is committed to a fair, objective and transparent process. The process will be consultative,” the utility said, adding that a meeting with Organised Labour took place this week.
The official consultation process will begin on Friday, with more consultations to follow over the coming weeks. “Affected staff have also been informed.”
The utility said it has conducted detailed analyses of the viability of all the Telkom Direct stores. The research, according to Telkom, has shown that it is, unfortunately, no longer viable to continue running some of the company’s 95 stores.
“It is clear that significant cost efficiencies can be realised, by closing down these unviable stores.”
Affected employees have been notified of the decision and in terms of the Labour Relations Act, have been issued with Section 189 Notices.
“Telkom will explore every option to place the affected employees impacted by this process in other areas of the business. Should such attempts be unsuccessful, some of the affected employees may unfortunately be retrenched.”
The company maintains that its restructuring process is an imperative for the survival of the business and to secure the long term and sustainable growth of the company.
“The intention is to build the right organisation for the future by improving the business performance and unlocking efficiencies.”
Telkom said it is committed to conduct this process with respect to South Africa’s labour laws.