Cell C has dismissed accusations that the company’s Section 189 process is unprocedural and that it is backtracking on an agreement not to cut staff as inaccurate and misleading.
Cell C employees have joined the recent SABC strike in protest of the mobile operators’ retrenchment process.
Speaking to the SABC, a Cell C Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) member representing striking employees accused the mobile operator of running an “unprocedural Section 189” process.
He said Cell C has not lost any money during the lockdown and as such the retrenchments should not be taking place.
He further said Cell C has not had audited financial statements for the past 2 years, yet they have full-time auditors who are paid large amounts of money.
“The CEO is lying to the media saying Cell C has lost money. Cell C has not lost any money. Instead, he is trying to get rid of unionised employees,” he said.
He also accused Cell C of continuing with its retrenchment process despite the CCMA not giving the green light.
“The parties did not reach a consensus and we were advised that we should still engage. Cell C, however, continued to hand out termination letters,” he said.
According to the ICTU member, Cell C’s severance packages to long-serving employees were an insult.
He added that the R4-billion recapitalisation for the company has been approved and that Cell C has the money.
“Cell C’s largest shareholder, Blue Label Telecom, has promised in writing that there will not be retrenchments if the recap goes through.”
“We do not understand why Cell C is retrenching staff if the recapitalisation has been approved.”
He added that employees’ shares in the company have disappeared “into thin air”.
Cell C responds
A Cell C spokesperson told MyBroadband both the CCMA and the Labour Court found that Cell C acted lawfully in respect of the Section 189 process.
“Comments made in an SABC interview are inaccurate and misleading,” the spokesperson said.
Cell C would, however, not answer specific questions about the accusations made by the ICTU.
The company merely said, “as the process is complete, Cell C offers no further comment on the matter”.