After the attempt to cheat the initial wave of workers made redundant in the merger process by the merged entity was avoided by a hair’s breadth with your intervention, Millicom Ghana (Tigo) and Bharti Airtel (Airtel) are back at it again.
Workers who have gone through the interviews and were either not given positions or have refused positions assigned to them are being held to ransom. The agreement between the two aforementioned companies and its workers was that, any staff who goes through the interview and is unhappy with either the position given or salary could choose to leave the company. This however is in direct contrast with what is happening on the grounds now. Directors of the merged entity having refused to give out any documentation to staff explaining what the exact process is, and what the do’s and dont’s are, are treating staff however they want, claiming workers have no grounds to sue since there is no document guiding the process, it near impossible to go to court.
Some workers who went through interviews as far back as January have not been given appointment letters, those who have received letters of appointment have not been given any offer letters and have no idea how much their compensation will be. Even worse, staff who were made redundant as far back as last month have not received their redundancy payments. And now Disgruntled workers who have decided they cannot wait for the salary calibration anymore and no longer want to be a part of this merger and staff whose positions no longer exist or have been given roles they do not want and have asked to leave are being told to RESIGN or accept roles they are not interested in. This is in a bid to avoid paying such people their agreed redundancy packages or even annual bonuses for the year 2017. In the case of Tigo staff, bonuses have always been paid with salaries at the end of February, but this was not done this year. So should any workers resign, as they are being forced to, they loose out on such bonuses.
With unemployment at it’s peak, such big corporations assume the ordinary Ghanaian cannot afford to be on the labor market and hence treat staff like scum. A typical example (which thankfully was recorded by several staff) was when the Chief Technology Officer of AirtelTigo in a meeting with staff used various derogatory and swear words against staff and asked that anybody who does not want to work to leave there and then. Most employees in the department who felt were being treated like little children and decided to not be part of the merger anymore have been asked to either resign or continue to face the dictatorial and abusive regime of the CTO.
It is as if arm twisting is the specialty of these people. The question is, is it by force to sign a contract with AirtelTigo? Even if a worker has been given a position at par or even higher than their current role, if they feel it is not in line with their career objectives, should they be forced to stay? Especially when they have not signed any contract with the merger entity? Should a worker refuse to work in a given role would the directors and board have enough grounds to sack such workers for non-performance (again so they loose out on redundancy payments)? Is it right for workers whose last days have been communicated to the HR be forced to stay beyond the said day – whether or not such a worker has been able to secure employment somewhere else or started their own business? Is Millicom and Bharti Airtel right to say a redundant worker has received an employment letter from another company hence should not be paid their redundancy? Should people who have already left and thankfully found employment elsewhere not be paid the redundancy package?
Sadly we are here again and urgent help is needed from the NCA, MOC, Labour Commission, the media and good people of Ghana before this issue escalates beyond a point of no return and the company and it’s customers are made to suffer the wrath of disgruntled staff.
Workers of AitelTigo
Ministry of Communications
National Communications Authority
National Labour Commission,
Ghana Investment Promotion Council
All Media Houses