Cell C Is Quietly Dismissing Workers Via WhatsApp For Tweeting

“This includes a threat on my life,” Juliet Mhango, Cell C’s chief of Human Resources, said.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp. Adam Hoglund / Shutterstock.com

Cell C is quietly terminating the contracts of some of its workers via [messaging platform] WhatsApp and registered mail.

The mobile phone company, which is 45% owned by JSE-listed firm Blue Label Telecoms, is dismissing some of the workers who have been tweeting on social media about the company.

Some disgruntled Cell C workers have created hashtags #cellckwenzejani [or Cell C what happened?] and #SAVECELLC on Twitter.

TechFinancials has learnt that workers are fired via WhatsApp messages.

Cell C dismissal letter for dismissal via WhatsApp
Cell C dismissal letter sent via WhatsApp

Some of the workers tweeting on social media are members of the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU). The union represents close to 1300 striking workers in the mobile phone company.

The ICTU – an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) led by Zwelinzima Vavi – was served by Cell C with a notice of intention to impose final written warnings for workers participation in unprotected strike action on April 10 and April 29.

The company had also sought court order interdicting workers from communicating defamatory or threatening messages relating to Cell C and/or its employees in any print media and/or any electronic messaging, chat groups, or social media platforms.

“In addition, various threats and incidents of hate speech are currently circulating on social media,” Juliet Mhango, Cell C’s chief of Human Resources, said in the founding affidavits to interdict the ICTU strike this week.

“This includes a threat on my life.”

In the notice, Cell C said racist and inflammatory language has also been used on Twitter.

The company stated that an example of this is a tweet by one “3T @ulti_murda” which states:

This tweet was retweeted by Tumelo Phakedi, a Senior Planning and Optimisation Specialist at Cell C.

The company said in the notice that it will take disciplinary action against Phakedi. – lourie@techfinancials.co.za

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