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Telecoms staff cut

Sanka Price

Telecoms staff cut

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More Barbadians are now jobless as LIME Barbados telecom services have begun to be outsourced to India.

The move is a cost-cutting measure by Ericsson which has the contract from Cable & Wireless (which trades as LIME in the region) to manage services here and the rest of the Caribbean.

The first casualties of this move are nine highly skilled engineers who worked in the area of managed service operations. Their contracts were terminated on August 31. Other job losses are expected when Ericsson fully switches over to their latest Global Network Operations Centre in Kolkata.

WEEKEND NATION investigations revealed these are the latest developments since Ericsson took over the field service operation last September, after LIME severed 208 employees working in that section.

Ericsson rehired about half of these on a one-year contract, but at a 12.5 per cent pay reduction – or just over $1 500 a month less than what they received at LIME.

In March, LIME severed their senior technical engineering staff, and these too, were hired by Ericsson but on six-month contracts. They also took a salary cut ranging from 12.5 per cent to 30 per cent, with some giving up as much as about $3 000 per month.

What is angering some of the engineers cut by Ericsson is that Indians have now been brought in to continue the work here.