Workers union hits out at MTN, Telkom merger

Workers union hits out at MTN, Telkom merger

The South African Communications Workers Union (CWU) moved to urge authorities to block MTN’s acquisition of Telkom, claiming the buyout will lead to lower competition and mass redundancies.

The CWU stated MTN acquiring Telkom is akin to “daylight robbery, where assets of South African citizens are shared amongst old comrades and their business cronies,” reported ITWeb. 

CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said: “We call for the state to be on the side of the South African citizens and workers [and] not to allow for few individuals to rob the poor and the country of what is theirs. The union is also considering to approach the Competition Commission.”

Tshabalala warned if the deal goes through it will “finish off the remaining carcass” and lead to job cuts.

He claimed MTN approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to scale back operations and make massive cuts. Meanwhile, Telkom has apparently been meeting to transfer its fibre Openserve business into a separate company.

“In our view, this is to avoid and/or navigate legal challenges that might arise in the process. The bottom line on both processes/companies will result in massive job losses with fat pockets for few individuals. However, the union is aware this is just the beginning; if nothing is done, the floodgates will be opened for workers to be displaced,” said Tshabalala.

Developing Telecoms requested a statement from MTN.

MTN Group confirmed negotiations to acquire Telkom in July and is a move to mount a bigger challenge against market leader Vodacom.

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