Union vows to fight cellphone giants
THE Communications Workers Union has declared its commitment to fight "irregularities and exploitation of workers" in the communications sector.
The union was specifically referring to telecommunications giants Vodacom and MTN as well as the South African Post Office.
The union, which will meet Vodacom management today, said yesterday it was "disgusted" with reports about the mismanagement of funds at the company.
This follows a Sunday Times report revealing that the board had ordered a forensic audit by KPMG after allegations that former chief executive Alan Knott-Craig snr helped his son, Alan Knott-Craig jnr, in business ventures allegedly using Vodacom resources.
Addressing the media in Johannesburg yesterday, CWU general secretary Gallant Roberts said the union would also call on the Minister of Communications Siphiwe Nyanda to set up an independent commission of inquiry into Vodacom to "expose" those involved in the "looting of public funds".
"And if the former chief executive indeed was involved in these illegal processes of issuing tenders to his son and nieces without following proper procedures, he must face the music," said Roberts.
He said the union was prepared to ensure that the "matter is reopened, if it was closed as alleged by Vodacom".
The union also claimed victory at MTN, which does not recognise it as a workers' representative unit at the company. It said it had managed to halt the retrenchment process which would have affected part of the 8000 permanent workers and the 3000 on part-time contracts.
"MTN agreed to stop all consultation on the matter until CWU has been provided with all relevant documents, which will enable us to submit alternatives to the planned retrenchments or even reduce the number of workers to be affected," said Roberts.
The union also vowed to intensify its campaign against the "apartheid wage gap" at the SA Post Office.
Roberts said: "In recognition of the embarrassing wage structure, the SA Post Office has agreed to set aside R32million and R35million respectively for the years 2010 and 2011 to deal with scrapping of these anomalies."