THE 25 per cent of Digicel's global workforce who will be cut from the Irish-owned company's payroll are being made to pay for management's poor decisions to rack up over €6.2 billion in debt, Communication Workers' Union Secretary General Joseph Remy said yesterday.
In reaction to the news late Wednesday that Digicel plans to lay off 25 per cent of its global workforce over the next 18 months, Remy said in a phone interview: “Digicel has resisted unionisation ever since its advent to the Caribbean. What is happening now is a direct result of that, and that is the reason they have been resisting unionisation, because they would want to continue to take these kinds of high-handed actions and lay off persons without any challenge whatsoever.”
Public Administration and Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie responded to Digicel's announcement in a statement yesterday, saying “at the earliest opportunity” he “will be meeting with Digicel Trinidad and Tobago chief executive officer (CEO) John Delves to discuss the company's plan to lay off several hundred employees across the region, including Trinidad and Tobago.”
Digicel Group CEO Colm Delves in a video message to staff said on Wednesday: “Of course, this change in how we organise ourselves does mean that we will be saying goodbye to some of you. That's never easy. I made a commitment to be open and honest with you, all throughout what I know is a difficult process. So today I want to let you know that over the next 18 months or so, we will be reducing our global workforce by approximately 25 per cent.”
He told staff members that Digicel chairman Denis O'Brien signed a global partnership agreement on February 9 in Shenzhen, China with Dr Zhao, chairman and CEO of ZTE that would prompt a re-organisation of the company.
“With rollout commencing in the coming months, this is the largest network transformation ever undertaken by Digicel and customers will very soon start to see the benefits,” Digicel said.
Delves said: “We are building Digicel for 2030 and beyond. Our transformation programmme sees us taking the bull by the horns and daring to be different by challenging the status quo and by innovation-led growth. That's what we are known for and that's what we will continue to be known for into the future.”