Photo: File

Multichoice job cuts: Unions are not accepting ‘excuses’

The trade union says Multichoice can afford to employ the workforce they are trying to retrench.


Photo: File

Trade unions representing a portion of Multichoice employees have voiced out their discontent with the satellite network’s plans to retrench as many as 2 000 jobs in the near future.

As reported by EWN, the unions have raised questions around Multichoice’s reason for retrenching this many employees.

According to Information Communication Technology Union’s (ICTU) Thabang Mothelo, the company announced billions of rand in returns for the previous financial year, thus it makes no sense why they are seemingly pressed to cut jobs.

“The union is completely opposed to the idea of retrenching. We’re saying this lacks sense, MultiChoice announced that it has made R18 billion on 18 June and only five days later, they announce that they are laying off 2,000 employees,” Mothelo revealed.

Why is Multichoice cutting all these jobs?

However, for Multichoice, the decision is purely dictated by the behaviours exhibited by their consumers.

The company’s Group CEO, Calvo Mawela, revealed that for Multichoice to survive in an era where over-the-top media outlets (like Netflix) are thriving, it had to adapt.

One of the key things the company noticed is that consumers are relying less on customer service agents and more on self-service options.

“The realignment is a response to the changing behaviour of its customers, who are increasingly moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to Walk-in Centres and adopting new self-service and digital technologies to engage with the company.

“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,” Mawela noted in a statement.

How do the unions plan to deal with this?

It seems like there is little that they can do to change the inevitable. Multichoice, by all intents and purposes, is most probably going to go through with the mass retrenchments.

The company announced that is has everything in place to start the Section 189 consultation process with more than 2 000 call centre agents and walk-in centre employees.

Mothelo confirmed that the union is scheduled to meet with Multichoice on Monday, in an attempt to protect the employees they represent.