Telkom plans to offer more severance packages, a move that trade union Solidarity is opposed to.
At the first round of wage negotiations that took place at Telkom last Thursday, Solidarity demanded that, apart from a general wage increase for two years, a two-year moratorium on retrenchments be implemented retroactively from 1 April this year.
According to Marius Croucamp, spokesperson for Solidarity, there is sufficient room for a solid increase in Telkom’s salary budget, as Telkom let more than 1 650 permanent employees go by awarding them voluntary severance packages.
Last week Solidarity reported on the skills shortage in the telecommunication giant that can be attributed to the large number of severance packages awarded.
“However, it appears that more voluntary severance packages will be offered, as Telkom wants to include a formal mechanism for voluntary severance packages in this year’s wage agreement,” Croucamp says.
Telkom is currently offering a wage increase of 4,5%, while Solidarity is demanding an increase of 12%. Issues concerning standby allowances, telephone allowances, leave and payouts for long service periods will also be discussed during the negotiations. The next round of wage negotiations at Telkom will take place on 8 June.