MultiChoice Workers Plan ‘First Historic’ Strike Over Planned Job Cuts

By  |  August 23, 2019

A section of workers of Multichoice Group are planning to take a major industrial action today, (Friday, August 23) at 1:30 pm to protest against planned job cuts by the company.

Information Communication Technology (ICTU) union said MultiChoice had sent a letter cautioning civil action against the union for “launching first historic strike” against the company.

The pay-TV company in June announced it will be laying off over 2,000 workers in South Africa as part of “strategic realignment of its customer service delivery model.”

MultiChoice said the restructuring was due to its customer’s changing behavior which they explained as clients moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to walk-in centers and increasingly adopting new self-service and digital technologies.

“This has not been an easy decision to make but, in a business driven by advancing technologies, we must continue to drive efficiencies yet be agile enough to adapt to evolving customer needs,” MultiChoice Group Chief Executive Calvo Mawela said earlier while making known their plans.

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“The strike action will begin tomorrow, August 23, 2019, and it is expected to inconvenience all 7.7million customers who are either having payment or service queries. This strike comes at the time when MultiChoice has deployed a new integrated billing system on 21 August and it is experiencing its own failures,” the union said in a statement.

The union claims that MultiChoice has failed to give enough evidence explaining why they are firing employees, which they say is requirement of the law. The union said MultiChoice had withheld or failed to provide the necessary information adding that its the reason they are downing tools.

“In the absence of this critical information, the blatantly arrogant ZAR 50 Bn profit company has then declared war with workers and ICTU.”

Following the planned strike, Multichoice has sent a response saying, “The threatened strike action is not only unprotected, it is also illegal.”

Featured Image Courtesy: Multichoice

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