The Communication Workers Union (CWU) wants workers who will be affected by the planned retrenchments at Telkom to be assisted to set up their own businesses.
Spokesperson Aubrey Tshabalala says they first made the proposal to Telkom two years ago, but the company failed to implement it.
The telecoms giant notified unions that up to 3 000 workers could lose their jobs as it struggles with declining performance in fixed voice and data services.
Tshabalala says CWU will fight the retrenchments as it will leave the workers without a livelihood.
“Two years ago, we proposed that the workers that were retrenched, Telkom must give them business which it did for a few months and then left them to dry.
“Many of those businesses collapsed because they didn’t get the work. We’ve just heard about the Massmart that it is retrenching two days ago, so it means that a worker will be left with two options, poverty or resort to crime. So we don’t have any alternative, we must fight to the bitter end,” Tshabalala explains.