News : Providers to MTN Fire More Than 300
Johannesburg, South Africa, June 10 2015 -- More than 300 workers have been dismissed by companies that provide MTN with services for illegally participating in the ongoing strike at the cellphone company.
The workers, who are mostly call centre agents and store operators, were not included in the permission granted to the Communications Workers Union (CWU) when it obtained a strike certificate from the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) last month.
The union was only supposed to go on strike against MTN and not the companies that provided temporary employment services to the cellular operator.
"The union is very irresponsible; they exploited the workers and took them into an illegal strike and now 300 workers are out in the streets without jobs while the union leaders still get their salaries," MTN human resources executive Themba Nyathi said.
But the union responded that it would intensify its three-week industrial action, most likely with a secondary strike. This was also despite a court order barring it from intimidating or assaulting non-striking workers.
Nyathi complained that seven workers had been hospitalised since the start of the industrial action.
The company plans to go to court again to get an order on picket rules.
CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said although workers were worried about salaries lost during the strike, they were still resolute on their demands being met. He also believed that the action had had dire consequences on the company.
"The company has not moved an inch, as we speak the MTN marathon has been cancelled. It was meant to take place this weekend. We have also seen the impact in terms of customers not getting a service," he said.
The workers are demanding a 10 percent pay rise and a 12 percent bonus, while MTN is offering an 8 percent guaranteed bonus payable in two installments.
The CWU also accused MTN of breaching the law by not allegedly paying its employees for work done on Sundays and public holidays.
Yesterday MTN call centre services were operational.
Just a week after the strike, MTN proposed a set of increases for this year and 2016 which would not be linked to the company’s performance.
MTN said it would withdraw the offers if workers continued to ignore it. But the CWU was not concerned about the threats. Nyathi also said the union had not given them feedback on the offer.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, June 11, 2015