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CWU: VSP IS A DIVERSION

posted 13 Mar 2014, 10:44 by Gerry Kangalee

 The statement reproduced here was published in the newsletter of the Communication Workers Union - FORWARD - dated 11th March 2014

THE COMPANY’S PROPOSED VSP IS A DIVERSION

SETTLE OUTSTANDING NEGOTIATI ONS NOW!!!!!

 

EXPOSING THE VSP/EERP DIVERSION


Comrades, once again, the Company's Management have been exposed as they attempt to engage in their usual diversionary tactics. While we are in the midst of our struggle to bring our wage negotiations current and ensure that employees are finally capable of sustaining a decent standard of living, Jhinkoo and his band of political stooges, tries to unleash retrenchment upon the unsuspecting workforce under the guise of VSP/EERP.

Comrades a rose by any other name is still a rose, and as such, VSP/EERP or whatever it is called; it still amounts to the termination of the employment relationship between an employer and an employee. What companies attempt to do is to put in some artificial sweetener into the brew and try to lure employees to leave their viable and sustainable jobs to go out into an uncertain and precarious economic and social environment, particularly at this time.

The CWU has over the years sought to ensure that TSTT employees benefit from decent terms and conditions of employment which we have negotiated and struggled intensely to secure over the years. We have ensured that as nationals of our sovereign Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, we enjoy the rights as outlined in the preamble of our constitution which states that the people of Trinidad and Tobago: "respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system should result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition, merit; ability and integrity.”

Comrades, against this background and grounded in such solid constitutional principles, we must expose the deception and diversion that the TSTT Management wants to perpetrate on you, the hardworking, committed and productive employees, who are still working on 2007 Salaries in 2014. We must expose the sly deception that Jhinkoo is trying to slip pass you all as he seeks to satisfy his political masters.

WE DEMAND THAT JHINKOO KEEP HIS WORD AND SETTLE NEGOTIATIONS BY MARCH 31, 2014

 


Comrades, we recall that "Hari" in one of his Employee Update, gave a public commitment to have the outstanding negotiations for the period 2008-2010 and 2011-2013 resolved by March 31, 2014. We also recall him stating that his goal was to ensure the viability and sustainability of the jobs of TSTT employees.

We must therefore demand that "Hari" keeps his word and take all steps to have these outstanding wage negotiations resolved before the end of this financial year.

We must let Jhinkoo, Snaggs and Hill know that we are the ones who built this company into the successful entity that it is today and we will not sit or stand idly by and allow them to run it down so that it can be placed on the auction block for party financiers to acquire.

We will never ever allow our beloved TSTT to be overrun by political psychopaths whose only aim is to plunder the patrimony of our national assets.

OUR PRIORITY IS THE RESOLUTION OF OUR NEGOTIATIONS
Comrades, the CWU stands firm in its resolve to pursue all necessary actions to have all outstanding Wage Negotiations resolved. We stand committed to ensure that TSTT workers are finally able to work on current salaries and terms and conditions of employment. We stand committed to ensure that TSTT remains a viable and profitable State entity working, consistent with the provisions of our Constitution, for and in the best interests of the citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

WE VOW TO EDIFY AND INFORM ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF VSP/EERP

Comrades, as a responsible Recognized Majority Union, we are obligated to always do what we believe is in the best interest of our members. While we respect the individual rights and wishes of employees, it must not be forgotten that a Union as a collective, always seeks to do what is beneficial for the many as against the few.

The implementation of any separation plan has severe implications for the workers and the company. The company has stated
that it intends to expand its suite of services and ensure that it is the preferred provider of choice in the Telecommunications Market. To achieve these noble goals, the CWU recognizes the value that permanent employees must play in the attainment of these goals, particularly in an intensely competitive environment with a vengeful regulator, the Telecommunication Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, TATT.

We are also mindful of the vulnerability of our economy and the ever increasing cost of living that workers are subjected to. In that scenario therefore, we must be vigilant and cautious of any moves to reduce the permanent workforce at TSTT. As such, the CWU demands that TSTT take the correct steps and measures to increase its operational efficiency without placing Bargaining Unit workers jobs at risk.

Comrades, the workforce statistics has shown without a doubt that while the Bargaining Unit staff complement has been reduced from around 3,400 persons in 2004 to around 2,000 persons in 2013, a 41% reduction; the Management Staff complement has increased from around 250 in 2004 to around 500 in 2013, a whopping 100% increase. These statistics are a reflection of three (3) previous VSP/EERP packages. What these packages have done is to reduce the effective workforce that would be able to provide good and excellent customer service. This has also allowed the competitors to gradually erode the company's market share and eat away at revenue streams.

We believe that the company should focus at this time to become the Telecommunications Provider of Choice in Trinidad and Tobago. As such, they need to properly rationalize the workforce starting at the upper Management levels and ensure that the ratio of Managers to Bargaining Unit Employees is a reflection of what best practices dictate. Then they must ensure that workers are provided with the proper and requisite tools, equipment and other resources to retain the existing customer base and thereafter regain those who had left to go over to the competitors.

Interfering with the current Bargaining Unit Staff complement at this time would not be in the best interest of the company. We suspect that somebody has ulterior motives for TSTT and as such they want to run it down to have it placed on the auction block to be purchased by their financiers for small money.

 

The CWU will continue on its crusade and struggle to ensure that we rescue TSTT and return it to a state, whereby our customers would remain loyal due to the first class and efficient quality of service that will be provided by a well staffed permanent workforce, working on current and respectable salaries.

 

WE DEMAND THAT THE COMPANY SETTLE OUR OUTSTANDING NEGOTIATIONS NOW!!

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IS ETERNAL STRUGGLE!!

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