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posted 12 Aug 2016, 09:13 by Gerry Kangalee
The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) would like to advise the national community that they should not be misled by the Figures that have been displayed by TSTT in the Company's Annual Financial Statements.

The Company has reported that they have recorded a loss of $316M for the Financial Year 2015-2016. If this massive figure is taken at face value, it would send the chilling signal that the Company is operating at a loss and as such is not a viable state entity. Well, we want to "Communicate the Truth" as we usually do.

Truth be told, the Company effectively recorded an After Tax Profit of over $500 Million Dollars. When we carefully examined the figures, we realised that the Company made an allocation of $575M for writing off obsolete technology equipment that they have in operation.

To quote the Chairman of the Board of Directors in his message accompanying the Statements: "During the next two years, our capital investments will be predominantly focused on both our wired and wireless broadband technology, and represents a significant allocation of the approved $3.7 Billion spend. Given this strategy, we undertook a comprehensive re-evaluation of our existing technology. This interrogation resulted in an Impairment charge of $375M and an accelerated depreciation charge of $200M. "

As you all can see, and I quote the Chairman once again: "Notwithstanding that the Company's other normal operations were profitable during the financial year, this re-evaluation cost of $575M negatively impacted our financial performance whereby TSTT recorded an after-tax loss of $316M." The CWU is concerned about the misleading signals that the statements can portray in the public domain, particularly in the face of the Government's pathetic weeping about their lack of Finances.

We are well aware that TSTT is one of the State Enterprises that has been the subject of interrogation by the Government appointed Committee to review the performance of State Enterprises. We are also aware that there is still the pending sale of the 49% Shareholding that Cable and Wireless has in TSTT, which the NEL has taken on the responsibility for, and we are well aware that the Prime Minister has publicly expressed his concerns about TSTT"s profitability.

The CWU believes that these statements can have the deliberate effect of coercing the Government to place TSTT on the chopping block to satisfy their public wailing for funds to run the country. In addition, this can facilitate those Private Mercenaries, either local and foreign, who have lined up to get their hands and pockets entrenched in TSTT whereby they would milk the Company and the Country of our patrimony.

TSTT is the only indigenous Full Service Telecommunications Service Provider in the Region, it is a profitable and viable State Entity, and in the face of the current abuse by the other providers, FLOW’s most recent announcement of a rate increase is a perfect example, TSTT must be allowed to flourish and demonstrate true Patriotism in the lucrative Telecommunications/ICT Sector.

The CWU vows to speak out on such issues of national importance to ensure that citizens have a major stake in the Telecommunications/ICT Sector. This Sector has provided in the past and will continue to provide in future an avenue for the facilitation of the long overdue and absolutely necessary diversification of our Economy.

We vow to ensure that the working-class and less possessed in society are not trampled upon in this crazy free-market and capitalist driven economic system that continues to make fewer people richer and billions poorer.

For that we will always Dare to Struggle!