Union threatens to restart Telkom strike

Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Industrial action could impact telecommunications company Telkom once again, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) has threatened.

In September, the CWU suspended strike against the telecoms company as the union said that Telkom started to meet halfway on some demands.

At the time, demands from the union included an 11% salary increase, six months maternity leave, gainsharing and bridging the ‘apartheid wage gap’.

But the CWU, in a media briefing on Thursday, hit out at Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko and chair Jabu Mabuza and threatened lifting the suspension of its strike action.

READ: Union moves to suspend Telkom strike

“We need to make emphasis that since the day of the strike suspension there has been an onslaught on workers and the union, as the attempts to destroy [the] labour movement by Maseko are mounting,” said CWU.

“We are promising Maseko and Mabuza today that CWU is now at the final stage review of our decision to suspend the strike.

“In various regions we have gathered a mandate to go back on strike. However, our National Executive Committee will convene end of the month to resolve on a date to embark on a strike,” said the union.

CWU added that its demands remain the “redress [of] the Apartheid wage gap” and “equal opportunities with regards to development at the workplace”.

CWU also denied allegations levelled by Telkom that the union’s members earlier this year sabotaged the telecom company’s network.

Telkom did not immediately respond to Fin24’s requests for comment on CWU’s latest statements.

But earlier this year, Telkom called on CWU to join other unions in a ‘collaborative partnership agreement’ that ensures the company halts retrenchments over the next two years.

As part of the agreement, Telkom further implemented a R700m 'Performance Pays' programme to give employees, who meet their targets, 6% more pay than last year.

CWU, though, disputed this agreement as the union has previously called for a three year moratorium on retrenchments and outsourcing.

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