Airtel sacking rumours rejected
BUSINESS| Oct. 4, 2011, 1:18 p.m.
Spanco Channel BPO Limited and Tech Mahindra, global Business Process Outsourcing companies and providers of call centre services to Airtel Nigeria, have rejected as untrue rumours circulating online, alleging that Airtel had sacked 3 000 call agents.
The rumours said this was due to disagreement over a plan to reduce salaries.
The companies said in a joint press statement that rather than sack staff, they are working on a business model that would see them engage even more workers and make Nigeria the hub of international call centre operations.
K. Sankaralingam, CEO of Spanco Africa, and Sujit Baksi, President, Corporate Affairs and BSC, Tech Mahindra, said in a joint statement that contrary to the claims of sack, the contract between the two firms and the service providers who hired agents and posted to them ended on September 30, 2011. Spanco and Tech Mahindra now want to hire staff directly, including willing people among the 1600 staff in the call centres in Abuja and Lagos.
They said: “Last year, following the signing of a landmark BPO Agreement with the Airtel Group, we jointly inherited 1600 Call Centre agents from Bezaleel, HR Index, and CCSNL who hitherto provided agents for the company known then as Zain.”
“The contract existing between us and two of the agencies namely, CCSNL and HR Index expired effective Friday September 30, 2011. The contract with the third agency, Bezaleel, will expire in January 2012. So, there is no issue of mass sack but expiration of existing contracts.”
“Prior to the expiration of the contracts, we had engaged representatives of the Agents and that of the organised labour on how to manage their transition to our roll. Due to a lack of consensus on the way forward and an apparent threat to our facilities by some of the agents, we were compelled to suspend operations at the call centres last Friday, September 30, 2011.”
The companies also reiterated commitment to offer some of the affected agents new contracts with attendant salaries and benefits based on their qualifications and experience.
The statement reads, “We will also recruit new agents, because the vision is to expand the Call Centre business in Nigeria to 5000 capacity, ultimately. On the issue of salaries, we state categorically that as world class organisations, we offer our employees remuneration and benefits comparable to standards across the world and in compliance with the working and labour laws of Nigeria.”
Airtel Nigeria Director, Human Resources, Jibril Saba, noted that the affected agents were at no time its members of staff, but rather inherited workers from the duo of CCSNL and HR Index, two of the three outsourcing companies that had business pact with Zain, as the company was formerly called.
“At no time did Airtel hire directly these employees. They were hired through our third-party agents, and we are not under obligation to discuss with the employees of our third-party agents. We never had them on our pay roll”, Saba said.
Saba reiterated Airtel Nigeria’s commitment to best practice in all aspects of its operations, saying it would never allow any of its business partners to implement policies that would affect the morale of persons engaged to render service to the company.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Equity Group appoints Bhartesh Shah as COOEquity Group Holdings has announced the appointment of Mr. Bhartesh Shah to the Chief Operations Officer (COO) position. Read More
The nine top trends in CEM todayCustomer experience management that genuinely enhances customer ‘stickiness’ depends on new strategies and now mindsets, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
MTN, former ATCON chief disagree over naira devaluationMTN Nigeria and a former president, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) have disagreed over further devaluation of the naira. Read More
MTN Business launches Supplier Development Programme in MpumalangaMTN Business has reaffirmed its commitment to develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within Nelspruit by extending its Supplier Development Programme (SDP) and Accelerator Programme (AP), the company’s enterprise development initiatives, to the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Read More
VMware appoints Senior Vice President and GM of EMEAVMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today announced the appointment of Jean-Pierre Brulard as Senior Vice President and General Manager of EMEA. Read More
InfoGraphics chief urges investment in tech start-upsThe Managing Director of InfoGraphics Nigeria, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, has urged wealthy Nigerians to invest in tech start-ups. Read More
Convergence Partners acquires stake in Nigerian Fintech firmConvergence Partners has announced an investment of $20m for a strategic, minority stake in Venture Garden Nigeria. Read More
MTN Business augments its management team further with key strategic appointmentMTN Business SA has appointed an industry veteran, Mariana Kruger, as General Manager of Private Sector. Read More
SA Competition Tribunal approves Telkom-BCX mergerBusiness Connexion Group Limited has announced that the Competition Tribunal of South Africa has approved the proposed merger between Business Connexion Group Limited ("BCX") and Telkom SA SOC Limited ("Telkom") with the imposition of conditions. Read More
Kenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customersAs confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative. Read More
FEATURED STORYYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions
Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.