Today's Labour News

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telkom thumb100 Business Report writes that Telkom, which is partly government-owned, is embarking on a new round of retrenchments.  The telecommunications company said on Friday that it would offer voluntary separation and voluntary early retirement to qualifying employees.  

Telkom has not indicated how many jobs are on the line, but said that it needed to cut costs following new plans by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to again bring down call termination rates.  Spokesperson for trade union Solidarity, Johan Botha, said that the union had yet to engage Telkom on formal Section 189 (i.e. retrenchment) talks.  “Solidarity will, however, have to fight to keep our members employed,” said Botha.  Icasa has proposed that fixed termination rates should fall by 70% compared with a reduction of only 31% in base mobile termination rates.  The new regulations are expected to set in from October.  Telkom said last month that this decision penalised it much more than its competitors MTN and Vodacom.  “It also disproportionately targets Telkom as the champion in reducing the cost to communicate and the largest employer in the industry.  While Telkom employs 18,000 people, the two largest mobile operators together employ 10,000 staff in total,” said Telkom.

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