Cell C staff to join Tiso Blackstar Tuesday picket

Information Communication Technology Union president Moeketse Lepheana has said that striking workers from Cell C will picket alongside Tiso Blackstar Group [JSE:TBG] employees at the media company’s offices on Tuesday.

However, the commission's next hearing sits on Thursday, according to its website. 

Tiso Blackstar employees affiliated to ICTU are aggrieved about unpaid bonuses, lack of increases and staff layoffs, according to Lepheana, while Cell C employees say that the telecoms giant will not recognise all unions in collective bargaining processes.

Andy Gill, managing director of the Tiso Blackstar Group, previously told Fin24 that the company had, in fact, awarded bonuses to divisions that met the criteria, as well as awarding discretionary bonuses to top performers.

While the union claims 80% of Tiso Blackstar staff are members, citing submissions to the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration, Deputy Managing Director at Tiso Blackstar, Moshoeshoe Monare, told Fin24 that ICTU members at the company number 161, less than 10% of total staff, citing human resource figures. 

In March, Lepheana told Fin24 that the union had roughly 200 members at the Tiso Blackstar group, which owns a number of SA newspapers, including the Sunday Times, the Financial Mail and Business Day, as well as the Sowetan. 

'Nothing will get done'

Lepheana said on Monday that the go-slow at Tiso Blackstar, outlined in the 48-hour notice which ICTU handed to the company on Friday afternoon, was going as planned.

"The go-slow is going [perfectly]. We have decided to report to work to rule and go slow. Everyone is at work, but they are working very [slowly] to ensure that the productivity is slowed down to the point where nothing will get done," said Lepheana.

Lepheana said the union was still on track to march to Tiso Blackstar next week Tuesday, the day before the elections. In the meantime, he said, Cell C employees affiliated with ICTU would be joining Tiso Blackstar employees in solidarity for their picket on Tuesday.

"Our memorandum will deal with the issues on demand. The employees of Tiso and Cell C have decided that from tomorrow Cell C employees will visit Tiso Blackstar and block everything happening at the Zondo Commission with a picket," Lepheana said.

Lepheana told Fin24 that about 80% of Tiso Blackstar’s employees were represented by the union.

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