Express Business Filler #1

Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) general secretary Clyde Elder says in these uncertain and tough economic times, it’s difficult for 200 DirecOne workers who have been placed on the breadline.

Elder’s comments comes after Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) announced on Wednesday that it did not renew the call services contract with DirecOne Ltd and therefore hired another private contractor CallServ Ltd to take over the operations.

He told the Express that while the workers were not represented by the union, employees losing their jobs should be of great concern to the country.

“In 2018 the last of TSTT staff trained in call service were retrenched, and DirecOne was sub-contracted to perform the service. This service should not have gone outside of the company. These are functions that were, and should still be, performed by employees in the company.”

The union head outlined that if the telecommunications company had retained internal staff that were trained to perform the same services, they would have been able to save money.

TSTT, in a statement, said it has enlisted the services of new providers to support its contact centre operations and the transition has taken effect as of yesterday.

Surprised workers

One worker who wished to remain anonymous said this came as to surprise to them, as they were not forewarned by management that DireOne’s contract with TSTT was not being renewed. She noted that it was this week they were given their end of employment contract letter.

The letter, which was obtained by the Express, said: “We refer to our letter to you dated March 25, 2021, offering employment on a fixed term basis as a Customer Sales and Service Specialist.

“This contractual arrangement was due to end on April 24, 2021, but will now end on March 31, 2021. We may wish to consider you in the future for a period of fixed term contract employment, in which case, a communication, outlining the employment details, will be issued to you.”

The worker said the other employees were disheartened by this move, as most of them are single parents and are unsure if they will be able to be hired elsewhere in this current economic climate.

TSTT response

Nothing changes, TSTT said its contact centre will be fully resourced and customers will experience no difference in operations.

“824-TSTT is an important customer touchpoint that the company intends to maintain.

TSTT gives its assurance that customers will still be able to call the number for information on products and services, technical support, bill related queries and the full range of services previously provided,” the statement said.

CallServ is a new call centre which offers a comprehensive range of inbound and outbound telemarketing services and an array of other alternative solutions to meet the needs of one’s business.

Some of their services include customer care, tele surveys, customer contact, marketing services, web chats, e-mail responses, technical support and work desk, customer insights and data analysis.

CallServ head office is located at Gaston Court, Chaguanas.

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