The ongoing retrenchment exercise at AirtelTigo, following the merger of the two companies which came to a standstill over the alleged use of a wrong formula to calculate packages, has been corrected and resolved.
The first batch of senior staff who received notice of their retrenchment packages rejected it outright, accusing management of using a strange formula that shortchanged workers significantly.
Following the rejection, a group of workers, calling themselves the Concerned AirtelTigo Workers, put out a write up accusing management of several things, including side-stepping the provisions of a workers handbook and an agreed formula.
The CEO of AirtelTigo, Roshi Motman, met the Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) last week and assured the journalists that she was taking a closer look at the handbook and possibly work with it, following the initial agitations.
She promised her commitment to ensuring that deserving workers get matching positions in the merged company, while those who have to leave are given proper career counseling and requisite retrenchment packages.
Following these comments from Roshi, there has been renewed excitement with staff and some top management persons confirming currently management is using the handbook plus a bit more exciting packages added.
CEO Roshi Motman stated that the company has established a special Mobility Centre, where all workers are going through a process to either be employed on merit or let go with a deserving retrenchment package.
The Mobility Centre is manned by experts from Deloitte and Touch, who take workers through hours of question and answer period, plus one-on-one counselling sessions to determine how each person can fit into the roles available in the merged company or move on smoothly.
So far, over 100 workers have been through the Mobility Centre and just a few of them have been affected by redundancy.
Management explained that the process started from the senior level staff it is gradually trickling down through the ranks so that once the leaders of each department are confirmed, they can now help in the selection of the team they will work with.
“We have a very skilled human resource from both Airtel and Tigo so we are taking our time to ensure that we extract the best of the best and that is why the process seems to be taking time,” she said.
On the way forward for the merged company, Roshi Motman said they are currently working on merging the customer shops, cell sites and data centres in a strategic fashion that would provide customers with the best experience on the network.
She is confident that with the combination of Airtel’s strength in intra-city fibre spread and Tigo’s strength in the inter-city fibre network, the merged entity will be a force to recon with in the industry.
“This merger is good for this country because soon we will be recapitalizing the company to bring a boost in the economy and also ensure some decent competition that inures to the benefits of consumers in the long-run,” she said.
She noted that examples around the world show that where just a few telcos operate in a country, there is value for each of them, so she trusts that the merger would, in the long run, create value for all industry players and stakeholders.
Roshi Motman said the company would also be combining the strengths of Airtel Money and Tigo Cash on the mobile money market to provide customers with the best of service backed by enough liquidity in the hands of merchants.
“We will pay a great deal of attention to making all our processes very easy for customers so that their experience on our network will be the best one,” she said.
AirtelTigo has 18 months to complete the merger at all levels, and management says even when the merger is completed they will still maintain the two sets of number blocks of 026/056 and 027/057.