Clyde Elder says TSTT to send 450 CWU members home
Hundreds of workers; including 450 CWU members; are expected to be retrenched from majority State-owned telecommunications provider TSTT.
The claim has been made by the Communication Workers Union (CWU); the organisation representing employees, following a meeting between TSTT and the union on Tuesday.
TSTT however, says that while it understands the public’s interest in the talks; it “does not consider itself at liberty to put into the public domain, the details of these meetings or of the ongoing consultative process”.
CWU secretary general Clyde Elder, speaking on i95.5FM yesterday, said he met virtually with a TSTT manager and had to “drag” the number of employees who will be affected out of him.
“When we were discussing how the restructuring was going to affect the membership…I basically had to drag it out of him and then he said your membership will be affected by 455 members. So this means 455 workers under the bargaining unit are earmarked to be sent home by TSTT once again,” Elder said.
Elder also disclosed that TSTT says it is losing money as voice, mobile and landline revenues have declined.
In a statement on January 17, TSTT said for its financial year which ended on the March 31, 2021, its revenue fell by $453 million—18 per cent less than the prior year.
TSTT is 51 per cent owned by Corporation Sole through the investment holdings company, National Enterprises Ltd.
“What the management did not say to us is that TSTT has taken its fibre business and given it to Amplia. So they told us in the meeting that Amplia continues to have a positive impact on the balance sheet. Of course it will. If you take TSTT’s core business and sell it to Amplia, TSTT will suffer and Amplia would be the one benefiting,” Elder said.
He said he believes the retrenchment exercise will begin by the end of March.
“TSTT has not given us any date as they said to the union that further consultations will take place and information will be made available as we go along. So we have no idea when the restructuring will take place but we can suspect that given TSTT’s financial year ends on March 31, they will be attempting to do all of this by the end of March,” he suggested.
In 2018, TSTT released 503 junior and senior employees, saying it had suffered an operating loss a year earlier.
TSTT said in a statement that it had been inundated with enquiries (including from the media) since the meeting and about TSTT’s position on various matters raised in the course of the consultations.
“While we fully understand the public’s (and the media’s) interest in this matter, TSTT does not consider itself at liberty to put into the public domain the details of these meetings or of the ongoing consultative process. As a responsible employer who is committed to observing the principles of good industrial relations practice, TSTT subscribes to the principles of good faith consultation,” the company stated.
Union: 450 TSTT workers to go home Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers