Etisalat Attribute Mass Sack to Recent Changes



In what industry watchers attribute to be a cost-cutting mechanism in the light of increasing competition in the industry and declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), the nation’s fastest growing telecommunications network, Etisalat Nigeria at the weekend sacked scores of its staff.
Although most of those sacked have expressed surprise and disappointment over the development, but the service provider has also reportedly paid off all those who were affected.
While the number of the disengaged was put at about 2000 by sources, the management of the company which is presently said to be planning to hire less expensive contract staff to replace those sacked, has refused to give an official figure.

According to an official of the network who preferred anonymity, “it is not exactly the number of employees people are speculating that were sacked. If we should sack 2000 staff, how many employees does the network have, and how many will remain? Some staff were indeed sacked because of the change in management, but the figure is not as high as people are speculating.”
The development, according to a source, is already causing panic among MTN, Airtel and Glo staffers.
Most of the networks’ employees, according to feelers, are already jittery and hoping that their respective networks would not follow along the line of Etisalat.
In its official statement on the subject which was made available to Hallmark last night, the fastest growing network stated: “Etisalat Nigeria would like to state that there have been recent changes within the organisation. Due to these changes, the services of some staff were no longer required. We would like to reaffirm that, as a responsible corporate citizen, we remain committed to growing and developing our people in line with our core values.”
Speaking with Hallmark, Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ATCON) President, Lanre Ajayi, said he was shocked by the development. He however attributed the sack to the network’s strategy to cut operating costs.

“I think some of the workers affected are outsourced staff. Telecom operators are already selling their towers and masts to infrastructure companies who in turn effect co-location. Etisalat must have sacked the staff to reduce operating costs. It is common knowledge that the operating environment is biting hard on them in the face of still competition among the operators. By sacking some of the staff, I believe the operator wants to focus on the areas of its core-competence. With what has happened now, most of those sacked and are competent in areas relevant to infrastructure management may easily be absorbed by the co-location companies,” Ajayi explained.
It would be recalled that Airtel telecommunications had on September 30, 2011 all sacked all their customer care staff numbering 3000 due to salary disagreement. But even then, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) companies and providers of Call Centre services to Airtel Nigeria, Tech Mahindra and Spanco, had denied the report.

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