Digicel Jamaica to shed 120 jobs

(Jamaica Gleaner) Mobile operator Digicel Jamaica says that about 120 of its local staff or 10 per cent of its workforce could to take-up its ‘voluntary separation programme’ announced Thursday.

Digicel said it would assess whether forced cuts would follow at the company which employs 1,170 with an additional 60 workers added from former rival Claro Jamaica, which it acquired.

“As this is a voluntary separation programme, it is not possible to predict what volume of applications we will get. That said, based on our experience of offering a voluntary separation programme in 2009, we would expect around 10 per cent of our employees to apply,” said Antonia Graham, head of group public relations at Digicel.

Digicel said the move was geared at improving efficiency, realigning the organisation and delivering optimum business performance.

Graham added that a small number of the Claro staff will remain permanently. “To be clear, this is not a cost cutting exercise. The voluntary separation programme is part of an overhaul effort at this time to ensure we have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead of us and to deliver against our ongoing focus on driving efficiencies coupled with ensuring optimum business performance,” said Graham.

Asked about forced cuts, Graham said: “Upon reviewing all applications, we will be in a position to better assess if any further action is required. Obviously we can’t predict the future but we do believe that this offer of the voluntary separation programme will result in us having the right people with the right skills in the right jobs and so being able to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead”.

Digicel shut down the Claro network on March 1.

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