Union was consulted on Telkom sale

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) was informed and consulted by Telkom on the sale of a 15% stake in cellullar operator Vodacom, the Pretoria High Court heard on Thursday.

Arguing on behalf of Telkom, Nick Maritz, SC, said the union had been given the opportunity to raise any labour-related concerns, however, it had failed to do so.

“It was invited to raise the labour-related concerns ... the invitation was not taken up.”

Last year Telkom announced the sale of a 15% stake in cellular operator Vodacom, worth R22,5-billion, to multinational cellular operator Vodafone.

However, according to the union’s legal team, the CWU had the right to negotiate regarding the transaction and this process had not been completed.

The court was therefore urged to halt the transaction which was due to be completed next Friday.

The CWU said its main bone of contention was the fact that the organisation was not properly consulted by Telkom in terms of both legislation and the recognition agreement regulating relations between its members and the company.

It had said it had no option than to use the law to force all parties to consult with it.

One of its core concerns was the possibility of retrenchments arising from the transaction.

However, it was argued in court that the union had been given assurances that this would not take place.—Sapa

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