Trade union Solidarity has accepted Telkom’s 7% two-year wage offer, putting an end to a six month negotiating period that threatened to derail more often than not. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
“Wage negotiations at the telecommunications giant, Telkom, finally concluded favourably on Friday after five months’ intensive negotiations,” Solidarity said in a press statement on Monday.
The deal reached guarantees a 7% pay hike this year for its members and 6,5% next year. Previously, Telkom had offered a 4,5% hike.
Other concessions that the union extracted from Telkom was a promise to address inequalities in medical allowances. Issues such as “job security and salary inequality have been referred to a special forum”, Solidarity said.
The negotiation process was anything but smooth. The parties finally ended up before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), where Telkom withdrew its offer, thus inviting the threat of a Solidarity strike. “The agreement is also in the interest of the whole of South Africa,” Marius Croucamp, Solidarity’s spokesperson said. “A strike in the industry could have been catastrophic, since even the service delivery of ATMs is dependent on Telkom.”
Solidarity is better known for defending its white members from the effects of affirmative action in the public service and holding protests against crime than falling out with the employers of its members. DM
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