30,000 PTCL workers set to bow out
LAHORE, Feb 8: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited is all set to dispense with nearly 30,000 employees after providing them with a ‘financial package’ under the Voluntary Separation Scheme.
Sources told Dawn on Friday that 34,000 employees, almost half of the PTCL’s total strength, had applied to avail themselves of the scheme and the request of around 30,000 had so far been accepted.
PTCL Lahore region spokesman Jawad Hasan confirms that the company has accepted the request of up to 30,000 employees while its Islamabad spokesperson, Ali Qadir maintains that the process is still under way.
The PTCL had offered the VSS to its employees in November last and received an overwhelming response till Jan 14, the last date of submitting the application. Sources said it was the prerogative of the PTCL to accept or reject a case.
Sources said most of the employees who had applied for the scheme were from the technical wing. They said the PTCL management was perturbed over the decision of such a large number of technical wing employees and had asked some of them to review their decision.
The management was also considering to offer them jobs on a contract if it failed to convince them, they added.
Citing a reason for the employees’ interest in the VSS, the sources said it was because of prevailing uncertainty in the organisation. Most of the employees were of the view that those who were not availing themselves of the scheme would repent at the end of the day, as the organisation would eventually bring them (remaining employees) to the contract-system employment, they said.
The PTCL Union Action Committee office-bearers, Sabir Butt and Abdul Qayyum told Dawn that the (foreign) management had vested interest and the purpose of downsizing was actually to promote another company which belonged to its country.
They said the fear of losing the (regular) job had forced half of the PTCL employees to opt for the scheme. “We do not know what will be the future of the (remaining) employees”.
They said the management was not spending much on improving its infrastructure and in the absence of such a large number of ‘technical’ staff the subscribers would suffer the most. They said the profit of the company had reduced drastically after this management took over last year.
They said under the VSS, the pension and medical facilities were given to only those employees who had served the organisation for more than 20 years while the others would get a ‘small financial package’ considering the high rate of inflation.