Solidarity today issued a press statement indicating that it has threatened to obtain an urgent court interdict if Cell C did not stop its retrenchment process immediately and it has given the operator until the end of today to respond positively. The union says it is convinced that Cell C did not follow the correct retrenchment procedures, but rather attempted to bulldoze the process through by way of intimidation.
TEXT OF SOLIDARITY MEDIA STATEMENT
6 June 2012
Cell C retrenchments: Solidarity threatens with legal action; accuses company of bully tactics
The trade union Solidarity today threatened to obtain an urgent court interdict if Cell C did not stop its retrenchment process immediately. The union included this demand in a letter to the company, saying it would proceed with legal action if Cell C did not respond positively to the letter by the end of the day. Solidarity was convinced that Cell C did not follow the correct retrenchment procedures but rather attempted to bulldoze the process through by way of intimidation.
According to Marius Croucamp, Solidarity spokesperson, Cell C did not follow the correct procedure in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, which required a process of consultation with interested parties and trade unions to be followed. “Cell C makes a distinction between union members and other employees, and uses bully tactics to force employees to agree to the retrenchments. The company is offering non-union employees the option of accepting a more favourable severance package before Monday.”
Croucamp said Cell C’s bully tactics were blatant discrimination against union members, rendering the company’s actions unlawful. ”They break down trade unions’ important role in retrenchments. Solidarity follows an established plan of action, with guidelines and methods to soften the blow of retrenchments. We also look at possibilities to avert retrenchments.”
Meanwhile Cell C alleged in the media that Solidarity had not submitted a list of union members employed by the company. However, Solidarity emphatically stated that the list had in fact been delivered to the company by the time of the deadline. Croucamp said Cell C was using trickery and that the company did not have the interests of its employees at heart.
Cell C intends retrenching some 150 of its total workforce of 1 288 employees as part of a restructuring programme to improve the company’s effectiveness. Solidarity last week revealed that a Cell C employee, a member of the trade union, had committed suicide after receiving notice of his possible retrenchment.
Marius Croucamp, Spokesperson: Solidarity
Cell: 083 454 6018
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