At least 2 000 workers will leave Telkom today, having taken voluntary retrenchment. Trade union Solidarity says it has learned that Telkom has accepted a total of 2 393 employees’ applications for voluntary severance packages, most of which will end today.

According to Marius Croucamp, head of Solidarity’s communications industry, this number of applications comes as no surprise to the union.

“Given the volatile climate within Telkom, we anticipated that a significant amount of employees would prefer to leave the company. Nonetheless, we remain highly concerned about the exodus of skilled Telkom workers and how this will affect the company’s future endeavours and delivery of services,” Croucamp says.

Earlier, Telkom issued retrenchment notices to employees, but withdrew them following a Labour Court order on 8 July.

However, the company set in motion a number of other cost containment options, including voluntary retrenchment.

Other measures will include a wage freeze, the possibility of flexible working hours (flexi-time), new methodologies to improve productivity; upgrading employees’ skills, reduced working hours in the form of a shorter work week and potential outsourcing options.