RADHICA DE SILVA
While some companies like Stork Trinidad Limited have temporarily laid off staff because of the COVID-19 fallout, other companies like Digicel have implemented immediate salary cuts to some of its workers.
During a meeting on Thursday, Digicel T&T chief executive officer Jabbor Kayumov announced that managers at the highest salary tiers will get a 20 per cent cut, while employees at lower salary tiers will be asked to take a five per cent reduction.
He explained that the chairman and all non-executive directors will waive their entire salaries for the first quarter of the fiscal year.
“Staff on an annual salary of US$10,000 or less will not be affected by the decision,” Kayumov said, adding that the salary cuts will take place from May 1 and will last for 11 months.
He noted that this measure was implemented to keep as many employees as possible employed. Meanwhile, employees at Stork Technical Services said they were not given the option of a salary cut. Workers were told they were being sent on temporary leave with no pay and they will be called back when the opportunity arises.
They were advised to hand over their keys and access cards.
A Stork worker who requested anonymity said they were upset by the sudden layoffs.
“We would have preferred a salary cut rather than a temporary lay off. Some of us are permanent workers with more than 10 years of working experience. To go through this now is very unfair,” the worker said.
Last month Trinidad Hilton also temporarily laid off its staff and this was strongly condemned by the National Trade Union Centre.
“This philosophy has no place in T&T and must not be allowed to take root,” Natuc said. Natuc called on the government to intervene saying layoffs and retrenchment have no place at this time,” Natuc said.
Efforts to contact president of the Joint Trade Union Movement Ancel Roget and president of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions Joseph Remy proved futile as calls to their cellular phones went unanswered.