Telkom Kenya lays off 575 out of 800 workers ahead of merger with Airtel

By Fred Aminga On Thu, 1 Aug, 2019 08:32 | 2 mins read
Telkom
Telkom Kenya CEO Mugo Kibati claims Safaricom is out to scuttle their planned merger with Airtel. PHOTO | FILE
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    An employee who has been affected by the purge told People Daily that they have even been asked to vacate their houses following the downsizing.

Telkom Kenya has declared  575 employees redundant as its merger with Airtel gets into high gear.

In a circular,  Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Mugo Kibati said the move followed an earlier announcement on February 8  to combine mobile, enterprise and carrier services with Airtel Kenya, and operate under a joint venture company (JV Co). The merger is currently awaiting regulatory approval.

An employee who has been affected by the purge told People Daily that they have even been asked to vacate their houses following the downsizing in preparation for the new outfit to be named Airtel-Telkom.

“Most of the departments have been left without a single employee as the redundancy action bites,” said another affected employee who did not want to be named.

Kibati said  in the letter that Telkom will discontinue the “transferred business and must terminate the employees currently deployed to serve in these functions”.

“Employees tasked in performing administrative, and support tasks will also be affected,” he said.

Telkom said it had informed the Communications Workers Union on the development.

The one-month redundancy notice dated July 31 2018 affects 575 employees out of a headcount of 800.

This follows a similar fate that saw some 500 workers lose their jobs during another restructuring exercise last year.

The firm gave the affected employees a 30-day consultative period to enable dialogue between the organisation and staff, to ensure that any ideas, suggestions, and queries are received and given due consideration.

“The ExCo (executive committee) and I commit to a fair and transparent process, in line with the law and company policy,” said Kibati.

He also said that the JV Co had indicated it might offer employment to some of the affected employees, however, Mugo said this was subject to positions being available and thorough recruitment processes.

The JV Co plans to see both players establish an entity with robust operations and efficiencies, a more cohesive and far-reaching distribution network.

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