Union takes MTN to court over call centre outsourcing

Johnnesburg - The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has applied for a court interdict against MTN [JSE:MTN] over the company’s decision to outsource part of its call centre facility. 

The matter is scheduled to be heard on August 31.

MTN earlier said it will adopt a hybrid outsource model which would result in retaining some of its call centre facilities, while others would be outsourced to an experienced third party vendor. MTN is hoping to complete the process of appointing the third party vendor by September this year.

The CWU said it had not been consulted on the matter, and its president Clyde Mervin told Fin24 that the union had interdicted the network provider on numerous issues. 

“We asked that temporary workers be employed as full-time staff, which was not implemented. We’ve asked that the entry level workers be paid a minimum salary of R12 000 and that also has not happened,” Mervin said. 

He added that the latest issue is the non-consultation with employees over the outsourcing of MTN's call centre facilities.

MTN claimed the adoption of the hybrid outsource model aims to optimise operations and enhance customer experience. 

“The finalisation of this commercial undertaking will enable MTN to streamline its operations and focus on its core competencies, improve its ability to offer its customers a better customer value proposition and reduce operational costs,” a statement from the company said.

Nhlanhla Qwabe, MTN SA chief human resources officer, said the process was still ongoing, and they were encouraged by the participation of employees thus far.

"MTN can confirm the CWU has applied to court for an interdict against MTN. The matter is currently set down to be heard on August 31. MTN intends to oppose the application through the normal court process," Qwabe said.

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