Columbus responds to union concerns

Columbus Communications Trinidad Limited views with interest the position being expressed by the leadership of the Communications Workers Union in its statements about the proposed merger of Columbus Communications and Cable and Wireless Communications.

While the union is understandably concerned about the outcome of the agreement between CWC and Columbus, we wish to reiterate that Columbus has no immediate plans to decrease our workforce in Trinidad. We have consistently stated that with regard to Trinidad and Tobago, this alliance will in fact be beneficial to our employees in particular and employment in general. With regard to its 49 per cent ownership of TSTT, CWC has previously indicated its willingness to neutralize its shareholding, placing it in a position in which it cannot influence the company.

Columbus continues to provide opportunities to Trinidadians:

  1. We have increased our staff complement by 300 over the past year, and at present employ approximately 900 personnel in Trinidad alone
  2. We currently have over 100 vacancies that we are seeking to fill; we have also applied for the third mobile license and if successful, we estimate that our employee base will increase by an additional 200 personnel.
  3. Working with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, we are preparing to commence construction of a Tier III Data Centre in Tamana InTech Park, which, when completed will house 20 new Columbus employees.
  4. We plan to launch new products and services in early 2015, for which we will require additional staff

Columbus has always placed good employee relations at the heart of our operations. This approach will continue with the new entity. Importantly, the merged entity of CWC/Columbus will see the creation of a new company with a new leadership team and a new culture, which will put our customers at the heart of the company’s business structure, a practice very much inculcated in the current Columbus way. The importance of Columbus’ values as it relates to employee retention, job safety and job stability will still be at the forefront of our operations.

We emphasize the words of Phil Bentley, CWC’s CEO who stated in a release on Friday last that the new company formed from the merger of CWC/Columbus will create more than 500 jobs by 2019 through growth in its services and by reviewing current outsourcing arrangements. “We will enhance the quality of our customers’ experience, as we invest in jobs closer to our Caribbean customers,” added Bentley.

Columbus recognizes that our innovativeness, responsiveness and customer service quality will be paramount to our success and this is rooted in the satisfaction and pride of our employees. We are a progressive company that puts the interests of employees first, and we are excited that a combined CWC/Columbus will share these same values.

We look forward to working with our union partners throughout the region to create a productive and high performance workforce to ensure that opportunities to create employment are realized.