No million-dollar offer for retrenched TSTT workers

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Communication Workers Union secretary general Clyde Elder. FILE PHOTO –

COMMUNICATION Workers Union (CWU) president Clyde Elder said the union prefers VSEP to retrenchment of its members at TSTT. He said contrary to recent reports in a newspaper (not Newsday), none of his members will be made millionaires by any such payouts.

He told Newsday on Thursday, “They would have made a claim that TSTT workers will become millionaires when they are retrenched, but that is not so.”

He said a reporter had called him claiming to have a memo from TSTT which said workers will become millionaires, but he said he knew of no such thing.

“No memo went out to my members of that nature – none. So most likely, if she does have that memo, it will be relative to the managers and not my members. But they went with the story to make it look like TSTT workers will become millionaires, which is not the case.”

He said the CWU has no list of workers facing retrenchment, nor any calculations of possible VSEP payments.

“Without seeing it, I could only assume that memo refers to TSTT management, not workers.”

Elder said the CWU was open to VSEP

“The question we’d asked the company in a letter (Wednesday) was if prior to having people go through involuntary separation, which is retrenchment, there are a number of employees in the company who are saying, ‘I wish I could be retrenched, but I am not on the list to be retrenched.'”

He suggested workers each be asked if they want to take VSEP or stay at TSTT and then handled accordingly.

“You’ll end up with a motivated workforce, rather than a demotivated workforce.”

Otherwise, Elder said he had written to TSTT on Wednesday for a follow-up meeting after the meetings last week Tuesday between the union and the company.

“We have written to the company (Wednesday) on their proposal, responding to them, and we are waiting on their next step now.

“I’d imagine they’d want to invite us to some consultation now, now that we have exchanged correspondence and now that we have their plan.”

He said the CWU had asked TSTT for additional documents and will wait to see if the company will provide those and engage the union in consultations.

Last week, Elder said about 600 workers faced an uncertain future, against the backdrop of TSTT’s revenues last fiscal year falling by $453 million.

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