Following the publication of an opinion piece, News784 was reliably informed that those are not the first round of mass firings at Digicel SVG Ltd, but the 4th.
It is alleged that when COVID-19 hit SVG, a meeting was held, and employees at Digicel were advised that the last thing Digicel wants to do is dismiss members of staff, so the first option was to come together as a team to determine cost-saving initiatives.
Fearing their livelihoods were at stake, employees became active in doing everything they could, from working at home to using less paper simply to cut cost.
However, what happened afterwards changed these employees lives in a way they never imagined. A salary reduction for 3 to 12 months was introduced, which the source says, they (employees) all signed.
The deductions only occurred for three months, and salaries went back to their original amounts.
However, it is alleged this did not allay the concerns of the employees because they knew that it was a matter of time before they would become unemployed. One month later, this became the sad and harsh reality for five staff members.
The information alleges that five persons were dismissed in July 2020, another five in August 2020, two more in November 2020, eight on March 30, 2021, and another five on March 31, 2021.
These positions included several department managers. The length of service for these employees spanned from a few months to over ten years.
One of the sacked employees is said to have been battling cancer for a few years. Two more employees will soon know their fate when they return from vacation; the information alleges.
It is alleged that during these stressful months, a top-level employee continued to pocket approximately $3,000 monthly for a vehicle they rented to Digicel, which was payable to their significant other.
It is also alleged that the said employee continued to rent late-model vehicles from a popular motor vehicle dealer monthly (which allegedly was paid by Digicel).
According to the information obtained, allegations are that a request was made for the company to pay the employee’s significant other $24,000 for rental of the vehicle for eight months.
Information revealed that top-level personnel continue to benefit financially whilst lower-level staff are fired at will to “save cost”.
Before the recent firings, the information alleges that several persons were placed on a Performance Improvement Plan in Jan and Feb 2021. However, they were fired in March 2021 due to “lack of performance”, but no targets, performance measures, etc., were ever assigned.
Further allegations point to overtime, which has affected many of Digicel’s current and past employees; there are still ex-staff members who have not been paid overtime due to them. All of whom have sent lawyer letters to Digicel to no avail.