Over 100 TSTT workers to be sent home

Over 100 work­ers are ex­pect­ed to be sent home as the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Ser­vices of Trinidad and To­ba­go (TSTT) be­gins the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its “new struc­ture.”

Con­fir­ma­tion of the move came via a let­ter from the com­pa­ny to the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Work­ers’ Union (CWU) on Mon­day.

In the let­ter ad­dressed to CWU sec­re­tary gen­er­al Clyde El­der, dat­ed No­vem­ber 12, a se­nior TSTT in­dus­tri­al re­la­tions man­ag­er out­lined the changes to the CWU, which were re­port­ed­ly dis­cussed at a meeting on Oc­to­ber 26.

The let­ter al­so in­clud­ed a list of “pro­posed po­si­tions to be made re­dun­dant con­se­quent to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the New Struc­ture.”

The news comes just weeks af­ter TSTT had de­nied a T&T Guardian re­port which stat­ed that it planned to send home work­ers and in­tro­duce a new struc­ture called the TSTT Group of Com­pa­nies.

On Oc­to­ber 7, the T&T Guardian re­port­ed that TSTT was re­struc­tur­ing and that some 2,000 work­ers could face the axe.

It was learnt then that at a meet­ing, TSTT se­nior man­agers were in­formed of the com­pa­ny’s planned changes. Some 364 se­nior man­agers were in­formed of the changes at that meet­ing, which was held at the Hy­att Re­gency and ad­vised that se­niors out­side of the union’s col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing unit would have to reap­ply for their jobs.

But back then TSTT de­scribed the T&T Guardian’s re­port as “fab­ri­cat­ed sen­sa­tion­al­ism” and de­nied they were re­struc­tur­ing or plan­ning to send work­ers home.

How­ev­er, the let­ter this week lists over 100 po­si­tions to be made re­dun­dant. Among some of the po­si­tions to be made re­dun­dant are ac pow­er sys­tems en­gi­neer, pay­roll clerk, pur­chas­ing su­per­vi­sor, ac­counts clerk, shift su­per­vi­sor TOPS, billing at­ten­dant, dis­burse­ment clerk, in­ter­net ser­vice rep, se­nior wire­man, cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive, labour­er and pay sta­tion tech­ni­cian.

Up un­til late yes­ter­day, TSTT and the CWU were meet­ing to dis­cuss the changes.

The union is al­so ex­pect­ed to meet with its mem­ber­ship to­day at Union Hall and again to­mor­row at the Oil­fields Work­ers’ Trade Union head­quar­ters in San Fer­nan­do. Ac­cord­ing to union mem­bers, those meet­ings are to in­form the work­ers and the mem­ber­ship of the “dras­tic mea­sures the com­pa­ny is try­ing to im­ple­ment.”

Con­tact­ed last evening, Pub­lic Util­i­ties Min­is­ter Robert Le Hunte, who is the line min­is­ter for TSTT, told Guardian Me­dia he has full con­fi­dence in the board and man­age­ment was man­ag­ing the af­fairs of the com­pa­ny to the ben­e­fit of all stake­hold­ers.

- by Renuka Singh

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