466 TSTT workers say goodbye to company

Communication Workers Union (CWU) secretary general Clyde Elder.  -
Communication Workers Union (CWU) secretary general Clyde Elder. -

Over 460 workers of the Telecommunications Services of TT (TSTT) are now formally retrenched from the company after the expiration of 45 days' official notice ended on Friday.

The sacking of the workers is part of restructuring of TSTT in order to cut costs and keep it running in competitive market. The workers' last day of work was on June 15 but they were subsequently given the statutory 45-day notice.

Speaking to Newsday on Saturday, Clyde Elder head of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) which represents the TSTT workers said, of the 468 retrenched worker, only two were still employed as their retrenchment letters were delivered late.

He said TSTT's staff has been reduced significantly with just around 600 workers remaining. "Right now, the number of workers would be just over 600 with around 200 and 250 under the union."

Elder said the union will keep fighting for the rights of the retrenched workers. He criticised TSTT for its handling of the retrenchment exercise and its treatment of the workers.

"I would like to indicate that the company has been so woefully incompetent in this retrenchment process," Elder said.

Elder said there also seemed to be no planning since two workers who were supposed to be retrenched were unaware, worked tirelessly and were given their notices earlier this month. He also added that the retrenchment could have been avoided without disrupting the new restructuring plan.

"This retrenchment should not have happened, it was mismanaged and mishandled."

Contacted for comment, CEO of TSTT Lisa Agard said, "The decision to restructure TSTT and retrench employees was a difficult but necessary exercise for the survival of the company. It meant having to say farewell to people we care about and who have made invaluable contributions to the company and its evolution."

Lisa Agard

She added in a WhatsApp response to Newsday, "As CEO, this aspect of the exercise is not lost on me. In spite of the difficult economic circumstances facing the company, we offered competitive severance packages. Additionally, counselling and financial education services were available to assist employees in dealing with the realities of retrenchment and making the best decisions about their financial future."

Both Elder and Agard thanked the workers for the skills, time and effort they would have contributed to TSTT.

On May 31, TSTT had announced its plan to restructure the company in attempt to keep the company afloat. TSTT retrenched around 700 workers in 2018 due to complaints of $478 million financial loss and "high employee costs."


"466 TSTT workers say goodbye to company"

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