Strike action at telecommunications giant MTN on Wednesday will shut down all services provided by the company.
This is according to the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) whose members will embark on a protected strike at the mobile operator.
The CCMA issued a strike certificate to the union on May 6.
The workers who vary from call centre agents to IT technicians are demanding 10 percent salary increases, the conversion of temporary staff to permanent and 16 percent bonus payments.
The company implemented a unilateral five percent wage increase for all staff in March and promised them 13th cheques in December.
However the CWU is adamant the company can afford to pay more.
They cited the company’s excuse that their failure to generate projected profits in the past financial year has affected increases as inconsequential.
The union said it had 3 000 members out of a total staff complement of 8 000.
CWU still doesn’t have a recognition agreement with MTN despite its presence there.
“It will be the first strike at MTN. It will be one of the biggest. We are even in critical places, we are entrenched in there. It’s call centres, stores, finance departments, IT, we are all over. All I can say is your network might be problematic tomorrow,” CWU president Clyde Mervin said at a press conference in Johannesburg.
The union has also threatened similar action at Telkom, where they said about 3 500 jobs were at stake.
The union, which has in the past unsuccessfully attempted to stop retrenchments at the state-owned telecommunications company, hopes to influence the company when they meet in June.
Meanwhile, MTN’s human resources chief Themba Nyati says the union increased the bonus demand after the company made concessions.
“The union is demanding bonuses irrespective of whether the company has performed or not.”
Nyati also promised customers that their services won’t be affected as a result of the strike.