MultiChoice call centre workers to down tools on Friday

Workers at MultiChoice Call Centres across the country will on Friday down tools, in protest over planned job cuts by the pay-TV company, a union has said.

The Information Communication Technology (ICTU) said MultiChoice had threatened employees with "civil action" for launching what it called a "historic strike" which would impact millions of subscribers who may require customer service assistance.

"The strike action will begin tomorrow, 23 August 2019, and it is expected to inconvenience all customer 7.7 million [customers] who are either having payment or service queries," the union said in a statement.

News of jobs cuts impacting as many as 2 194 MultiChoice employees came out in June, in what was attributed to roll-out of new technologies. 

ICTU said the strike would be in support of its position about retrenchment proceedings, and accused MultiChoice of failing to provide sufficient evidence supporting the need for the lay-offs, as required by the law. The union said MultiChoice had withheld or failed to provide the necessary information.

"In the absence of this critical information, the blatantly arrogant R50.4bn profit company has then declared war with workers and ICTU."

Fin24 was unable to immediately reach MultiChoice for comment by phone on Thursday evening.

MultiChoice was previously part of Naspers and unbundled from its parent company in September 2018. The company listed on the JSE in February.