Telkom, CWU sign wage agreement

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pretoria - Telkom and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have signed a wage agreement, the telecommunications company announced on Wednesday afternoon.

"In the final settlement, Telkom and CWU agreed to a 7.5 percent general salary increase and a two-year moratorium on forced retrenchments," said Telkom Group Chief Executive Reuben September.

He said the parties had also agreed on an accelerated process to address salary disparities and that all future increases would be based on performance.

"On average, this translates to an 11.22 percent increase for bargaining unit staff and all adjustments are effective from 1 August 2009," he said.

Workers affiliated to the union downed tools on 3 August 2009 over salaries. The workers had demanded that the salary scales of workers be adjusted before implementing the 7.5 percent salary increase backdated to April.

"We are extremely glad to have reached a negotiated settlement with the representatives of organised labour as Telkom places a high premium on the welfare and satisfaction of all our employees.

"I am satisfied that, together with organised labour, we have utilised the process of substantive negotiations to collaboratively address critical issues in the shortest possible timeframe within the context of Group affordability," explained Mr September.

He said Wednesday's agreement further demonstrated that he could count on the support of the company's employees as the Group implemented its new strategy under its new organisational structure.

"I have always maintained that Telkom's personnel provides us with the most solid foundation for refocusing our strategic imperatives in order to maintain our leadership position in South Africa while expanding geographically to become a fully-fledged Pan-African operator," he said.

Commenting on the agreement, Union General Secretary Gallant Roberts said the increment will be backdated to April.

"It will be backdated to April and CWU members' salaries will be adjusted to a higher salary level while the increment will continue to apply to the adjusted salaries," Mr Roberts told BuaNews.

He further added that workers who had been on strike had already returned to work. "They are already at work, they have been at work since Monday," said the general secretary.