By the end of last month an internal memo by Telkom Kenya indicating that the struggling telecommunication company intends to fire 575 employees was shared with us. Later Telkom Kenya sent a Press Release to news room confirming that the move is true, and since then employees of the company have been apprehensive.
Their apprehension seems to be sustained as today Telkom Kenya again sent to news rooms a brief indicating that they are moving ahead with the plan to layoff the 575 employees whose positions they consider redundant. The brief reads as follows:
On February 8, 2019, Telkom Kenya Limited and Airtel Networks Kenya Limited, announced the signing of a binding agreement to combine their respective Mobile, Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses in Kenya into Airtel (to be renamed Airtel-Telkom (the Combined Entity) to reflect the combination of the businesses) (the Transaction).
Telkom Kenya issued a one-month notice of redundancy, with effect from July 31, 2019, to its employees, informing them of the intention to terminate the employment of approximately 575 of its staff complement, on account of redundancy, as a result of the Transaction. This is line with the law and is a process that has to be undertaken before employees are able to move to any other entity and is still subject to regulatory approvals.
Subsequently, the intention is to advertise and interview Telkom employees for positions in the Combined Entity and its outsourced partners. Engagement of these employees will be guided by the Combined Entity’s recruitment criteria as well as the mapped positions therein.
The Telkom Kenya and Airtel merger has however been posed as 52 former Airtel employees wrote to Communication Authority asking the regulator to stop the consolidation until their grievances are heard. The former Airtel employees have a pending case in court in which they sued Airtel for shs 1 billion in damages following what they term “unfair termination”
“It is instructive to note that the merger is a cleverly veiled attempt to ensure that our clients are denied the fruits of what might be a favourable judgment,” reads the letter to the CA.
With Telkom Kenya planning to go ahead with the firing of its 575 employees, it is fair to assume that the planned merger is still on schedule.