Negotiations between partly state-owned South African operator Telkom and Solidarity have been ongoing since March 2013, attempting to come to an agreement regarding fair wages for employees.
Solidarity has recently completed the mandating process for the standing offer of Telkom’s 6 per cent wage increase for three years with top security.
However, the rejection of the offer according to 70 per cent of Solidarity’s membership votes, leaves the matter incomplete.
Dissatisfaction with the offer was based on the inconsiderate approach towards inflation, upon which members require an increase from next August for up to a year.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Marius Croucamp, spokesperson at Solidarity, said: “It’s not acceptable. You can just think what it would do to people’s morale.”
According to Croucamp, accepting the current offer will put salary beneficiaries back 19 per cent because of yearly inflation impact.
While the union is keeping negotiation channels open, the option of going on strike will be decided by tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.
Croucamp said the union is not enthusiastic about industrial action, though the members’ voices are of main importance.
“It’s a tough one. We are thinking…about the African image and the rating agencies and we are really trying to avoid industrial action here.”
He continued: “We are really trying to pull the rabbit out of the hat to avoid that. We cannot ignore our members. They will shut down the union if we do.”
HumanIPO reported last week Solidarity’s claims of Telkom sabotage when communication problems were experienced with internet and telephone lines.
While Telkom expected an apology from the union, Croucamp said he was unsure whether the fault was technical or a deliberate attempt to prevent communication during the mandate process.
“We are not going to take that matter further. All has been resolved,” he said.