JSE-listed telecoms firm Blue Label Telecoms, a 45% shareholder at Cell C, is planning to probe the mobile phone operator over the grievances raised by the Information Communications Telecommunications Union (ICTU).

ICTU, which wants to see a stable, thriving and corruption free Cell C, last week submitted a memorandum to Blue Label Telecoms.

The memorandum was submitted to Blue Label Telecoms after the union was not getting an ear of Cell C.

The union represents close to 1300 members at Cell C.

Cell C Strike
Cell C Strike

The mobile phone operator has suspended members of ICTU at Cell C for delivering a memorandum to management demanding that Juliet Mhango, chief HR officer at Cell C, sign the collective agreement. A collective agreement is a written agreement concerning terms and conditions of employment, or any other matter of mutual interest, concluded by one or more registered trade unions.

Instead of signing the memorandum, Cell C decided to suspend workers who submitted the memorandum.

Thereafter, the union took its grievances to Blue Label Telecoms.

Furthermore, Cell C workers who were suspended decided to initiate a strike action on Monday to demand that Cell C’s pay the 2017/18 bonuses.

Instead of engaging the workers, Cell C decided to threaten to sue the ICTU and to dismiss employees engaged in an ‘unprotected strike’. For more read: Cell C Threatens To Sue Union, Dismiss Workers On Strike

On Tuesday, Blue Label Telecoms sent a letter to the ICTU – after meeting its representatives – informing the union that the company as a minority shareholder in Cell C, its objective is to ensure that the mobile phone firm is a successful business, with productive employees who feel valued and content throughout.

“We are in a position to take the issues raised to the Cell C executive, however as a listed entity with a deep commitment to sound corporate governance, and considering the importance of these issues, Blue Label will be constituting a sub-committee to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the grievances raised,” Etienne de Villiers Blue Label Telecoms’ Group Legal Counsel, said in the letter.

“Once the Cell C executive has thereafter had an opportunity to provide us with their feedback and the full investigation is complete, we shall revert to you with our recommendations as to the most constructive way forward.”

De Villiers added that the company expect that this process will take a minimum of two weeks.

“We assure you of our best interest at all times.” – lourie@techfinancials.co.za 

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