Flow cuts

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More Barbadians have been placed on the breadline.

Barbados TODAY understands that the services of some contract and part-time workers of telecommunications company FLOW have been terminated this week.

It is understood that those affected involved workers who were part of the Ericsson team, which was contracted by Cable & Wireless Communications, which now trades as FLOW, to manage services here. It is believed that all the contracted Ericsson employees will be going home by the end of October.

While it was not immediately clear how many people have been affected, Barbados TODAY investigations revealed that at least five people from sales, some from customer support, technicians and some independent sales executives, as well as some employed directly by FLOW have been given their walking papers.

Barbados TODAY was told that due to “overlapping duties and because of the organizational structure” the services of those staff were no longer needed.

Ericsson was responsible for facilitatiing the modernization of Cable & Wireless Communications’ mobile network in the region.

Officials of FLOW declined to comment on the development, and up until the time of publication Ericsson had not responded to a request from Barbados TODAY for a comment.

However, official sources said most of the workers who were severed were not members of the trade union movement and some of them were with the company under two years. Barbados TODAY was also unable to reach union officials for a comment.

At the end of June this year General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Toni Moore broke the news to reporters that a round of layoffs was pending at the company, following the takeover by Cable & Wireless Communications of Columbus Communications, which operated here as FLOW.

At the time Moore described the pending action as “natural” because the companies were merging.

“The company sought to approach the union to make us aware that as a consequence of the integration between Cable and Wireless and Columbus, that there would necessarily be impacts on staff,” Moore said at the time.

Up to that time Moore said there was no formal indication as to the extent of the impact, “but what the company has said is that in those areas where it recognizes that it may need to shed labour, that every attempt would be made to engage the Barbados Workers Union to make sure that the process in exiting workers is being upheld and that every effort will be made as well to ensure that to maintain the company’s competitiveness, the best person will be kept back”.

Sources told Barbados TODAY that the severed workers were informed that they would be paid a month’s salary in about two weeks’ time.

Some of those sent home had up to two to two-and-a-half years left on their contracts

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