Union Says It Wants A Thriving And ‘Corruption Free’ Cell C

Cell C has an R8.9 billion debt burden and in the past few months, several executives have quit the troubled company.

Cell C offices
Cell C offices

The Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) says it wants to see a “stable, thriving and corruption free Cell C” company.

“We are for cleaning Cell C for it to be a profitable company, and for workers to enjoy their 8 hours at work,” Origenous Mogoatlhe, ICTU Deputy President, told TechFinancials.

ICTU is an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), which is led by Zwelinzima Vavi.

The union is currently engaged with Cell C to finalise the signing of a collective agreement.

Last week, ICTU members at Cell C delivered a memorandum requesting Cell C to sign a collective agreement.PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT THIS COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT IS ABOUT

Instead of signing the collective agreement Cell C opted to suspend employees for delivering a memorandum to management demanding that the chief human resources officer (CHO) Juliet Mhango sign it.

“The union members were never on strike. They were delivering a memorandum to Cell C to request that Cell C sign a collective agreement,” says Mogoatlhe.

The union represent close to 1,300 members at Cell C.

In February, Cell C workers led by ICTU engaged in a strike at the company’s head office regarding non-payment of bonuses related to 2017 performance.

Mogoatlhe added that Cell C has granted ICTU full organizational rights.

In a letter written by Mhango, Cell C’s CHO, states: “Cell C hereby confirms that full organizational rights are granted to ICTU, subject to the conclusion of a collective agreement signed by Cell C and ICTU on March 1, which reads as follows:

’The company and ICTU will further meet in future with the intention to execute a collective agreement in respect of organizational rights in accordance with the provisions of the LRA, with the first such meeting to occur to occur on 11 March 2019’.”

Cell C confirmed on Monday that 378 of its employees who engaged in an “illegal strike” and blocked other employees and customers from entering and leaving its premises faced disciplinary action.

On the same day Cell C held mass hearings at its head office. The hearings continue today.

When asked if it is true that Cell C is offering to lift the suspension of workers if they return to work and resign from the union, Cell C spokesperson said via email that: “Absolutely not. We respect the right of workers to be affiliated to a union. Of the more than 1,000 union members, only 378 partook in an illegal strike and were suspended, pending a disciplinary hearing.”

The hearings will not have an impact on Cell C stores, said the spokesperson.

The poor financial performance of Cell C continues to be a drag on the share price of its main shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms.

Cell C has an R8.9 billion debt burden and in the past few months, several executives have quit the troubled company.


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