Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) is attempting to cloak its deficiencies through inept reform.
This claim was made by Joseph Remy, secretary-general of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), at a news conference on Monday at CWU Hall, Henry Street, Port of Spain.
Remy said TSTT was attempting to “justify their lack of foresight and understanding of the telecommunications market by painting a picture of sound business and organisational transformation”.
His statement was made in response to the announcement by TSTT chief executive George Hill last Thursday of its plans to cut its work force by 25 per cent through voluntary separation and voluntary early retirement.
Remy said the Communication Workers’ Union, the recognised majority union for all TSTT’s senior and junior staff members, was not included in any meaningful discussion regarding these agreements.
“We have been advised that there has been approval for VSP/EERP for executives, management, professionals and estate police association. Over 200 persons are supposed to leave the company over the next five months as a result of these. We wish to make it clear that none of these agreements involved the CWU.”
Remy stated that while TSTT is encouraging employees to end their employment, some of these positions are being simultaneously refilled by political appointees and United National Congress (UNC) party supporters.
He also claimed the CWU has observed attempts by TSTT part-owner Cable & Wireless to gain majority shares and effective control of the company.
“We have uncovered a plot by some local board members to facilitate Cable & Wireless intentions in exchange for installing UNC operatives in key senior positions within the company’s management,” said Remy.
Several recent appointments were questioned by the CWU, leading to a call to the Minister of Finance to launch a forensic audit into the operations at TSTT.
Remy compared the situation at TSTT to be potentially more corrupt than that of the LifeSport programme.
In closing, he vowed, on behalf on the Communication Worker’s Union, to “continue ensuring TSTT serves the interest of their members, all working-class citizens and all the nationals of Trinidad and Tobago”.