Telkom secures court order against “thuggish” CWU union members

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South Africa’s Telkom said this afternoon that it secured an urgent interim court order interdicting and restraining CWU (Communications Workers Union) and its members from a number of illegal activities associated with the union’s current strike.

Today, the CWU blocked access to the Telkom Campus in Centurion, along with some Telkom yards. Less than 100 CWU members today chose to harass and intimidate employees in Centurion. There were also some reports of blockades and intimidation at a few Telkom facilities elsewhere in the country. Telkom employees in Centurion were physically restrained by protesting workers from entering the Telkom campus and were threatened with physical injury.

The urgent and interim court order interdicts and restrains the CWU from the following activities:

1) from blocking Telkom entrances from all Telkom premises in all provinces

2) from interfering with Telkom’s business operations,

3) from intimidating and threatening Telkom non- striking staff who want to enter Telkom premises and perform their duties,

4) from preventing visitors, contractors and customers from entering and /or leaving Telkom premises.

5) directing CWU and instructing its members to refrain from interfering with Telkom’s operations and blockading Telkom entrances.

6) ordering that CWU members who are participating in the strike must do so 50 meters away from Telkom premises.

“Telkom will not tolerate the sort of thuggish behaviour we witnessed today. Telkom spent months negotiating with all of Organised Labour and were greatly encouraged when SACU and Solidarity signed the Collaborative Partnership Agreement on 2 June 2016. At the time, CWU’s leadership indicated their intention to sign the agreement but to date that has unfortunately not happened,” Telkom spokesman, Jacqui O’ Sullivan, said in a statement.

She added that Telkom has met the unions on so many of their demands, such as a moratorium on retrenchments, a cap on outsourcing and a guaranteed increase next year, so it is disappointing to not only see industrial action from the CWU but for it to be accompanied with aggressive intimidation of our employees, while blocking access to our campus and some facilities.

“To succeed in delivering sustainable growth, Telkom must fully turn its attention to our customers,” O’ Sullivan said.

“We have to focus on how best we can improve our productivity and better serve our customers and the Collaborative Partnership Agreement, with the incentive programme Performance Pays, is how we will encourage and reward staff for delivering service excellence.”

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