State-owned TSTT has confirmed that over 500 workers have been given retrenchment notices today.
The company says this will involve both junior and senior staff.
The following is a statement by TSTT today.
"Today, Thursday 15 November, 2018, TSTT executed on a critical phase in its organizational transformation.
This phase involves 503 Junior and Senior staff employees receiving retrenchment notices along with payment in lieu of the 45 days’ notice.
The next phase will involve the rationalisation of non-unionized employees including the executive level.
According to TSTT’s CEO, Dr Ronald Walcott, “In the previous financial year, TSTT recorded an operating loss of $32.5M and the contributing factors that led to that performance continued in the six months of the current financial year to September 2018 where the company recorded a loss of $478.8M.”
To date, TSTT has been plagued with a perennial problem of high employee costs.
Contrary to the assertions being bandied about in the public domain, of the $768M annual wage bill, emoluments to Junior and Senior Staff comprise 82.3%.
The company is also carrying a debt burden of $1.8B of which 40% (~$700M) pertains to the settlement of back pay to Junior and Senior Staff.
In addition, TSTT’s employee cost is greater than 30% of its revenue; the industry benchmark being 15%.
The revenue per employee is US$177K compared to the industry benchmark of US$400K.
Walcott added “With the continued erosion of our profit margins and reduction in our revenues, organisational realignment is mandatory. We began our journey to move from a legacy telecommunications organisation to an agile broadband communications company in 2016 because we recognised if we didn’t transform our business model, the company would not survive.”
According to Carol David, EVP HR/IR/CSS “We have to realign the roles and skills across the organisation at all levels including the executive suite. Our focus is to become more agile and efficient and operate at world class standards to ensure that TSTT can meet the ever-changing customer demands.”
TSTT has met regularly with the Recognised Majority Unions (RMUs) including the Communications Workers Union (CWU) on all relevant matters pertaining to the New Business Model and staffing of the organisation. At all times, the Company has attempted to reach consensus but unfortunately to date the Union continues to engage in circular conversations in a situation where time and the organisation’s survival is at a tipping point.
“We are committed to ensuring that all employees are treated fairly and with respect as we continue to manage the transformation process,” said David."