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General News of Saturday, 29 August 2009

Source: Ghanaian Democrat

Vodafone: New dismissal list on Tuesday

JUDGMENT DAY AT VODAFONE

By Solomon Davids

Workers of Vodafone Ghana are living in fear and anxiety as Tuesday,1st September, 2009 approaches.

The day, tagged ‘Judgment Day’ by the workers, would see the release of the list of the next batch of workers to be affected by the compulsory redundancy package put together by the management of the company.

At almost all the offices of the telecommunication company, workers could be seen discussing the likely outcome of the release, the people likely to be affected and the effects of being unemployed.

The facial expression depicts a combination of fear, anxiety and despair, with some of them praying for the day to come quickly for them to know their fate. What makes the day more dreadful is the fact that no criteria have been set for selecting those to be affected; as a result, it is difficult to predict who is to be affected.

It is therefore at the whims and caprices of the top management members to determine who qualifies or not, as there are not performance assessment modalities in the company to evaluate the contribution of individual workers to the overall output of the company.

In despair, some of the workers have started preparing themselves for the worst, even though they don’t know who is going to be on the list. To them, it is better to prepare for the worst, that when it comes, one does not get shocked; if the best comes, then one has to thank his God.

Less than a year after taking over the ownership of the only state-own communication network, Vodafone Ghana, finding the number of workers too high for the achievement of set targets, has through high-handed compulsory means succeeded in sending home 1,900 workers.

Initially, 864 workers were disposed of under a voluntary package of three-month salary for each year of service in the company. An additional 78 workers also found their way out through the same package.

However, having failed to convince more workers to follow suite, Vodafone is now applying rough tactics to forcefully retire more members of staff under a compulsory redundancy scheme. Some staff have been targeted and barring any last minute intervention, more workers would exit Vodafone in next few months. However, a section of the workers and the public believe that the exercise is aimed at ensuring the comfort of some top management members, some of whom are lodging in hotels and taking home fat salaries at a high cost to the company, which could not make profit last year.

The Daily Democrat can state categorically that the Villagio Hotel at the Airport Area, close to the house of former President Kufuor, is host to some of them. Stay tuned.

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