April 14, 2015
How many will lose jobs over CWC/Flow merger?

“People are going to get fired; Vincentians are going to lose their jobs.”

This prediction was made just over two months ago, by local businessman Stephen Joachim at a panel discussion and public consultation on the ramifications of a merger between Cable and Wireless Communications (Lime) and Columbus Communications (Flow).{{more}}

Despite representatives from the two telecommunications providers denying that this would happen, the first ‘body’ has already fallen.

Last week, it was reported that Leslie Jack had been relieved of his post as LIME country manager, after serving in the role for the past three years. He spent his last day on the job on April 10.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, Jack declined to comment on why he was let go, or whether he was given sufficient notification. However, he did speak about his achievments during this time.

“I spent 15 good years with LIME,” he insisted. “When I took over as general manager, it was a challenging time.”

He added: “There were three major accomplishments: we were able to change the culture of staff, giving them a lot more sales and customer service focus; we have clearly positioned the company as a telecomms leader in the current environment; and I’ve left the business in a better place than it was three years ago when I took up this role.”

Despite the parting of ways, the future still seems bright for Jack, who said that he has a few career ideas in the pipelines that he is working on — on which he will give more details once they come to fruition.

At the CWC/Columbus panel discussion, which took place on January 21, Joachim had explained that mergers between companies are a commonly occurring part of ongoing globalization, intended to make companies “more profitable”.

“Making these companies more profitable is generally a euphemism for cost-cutting and/or increased prices… cutting costs means… firing local people. Let’s be crystal clear; that’s what it means.”

So, the question now is no longer ‘will jobs be lost?’ Rather, it’s one of ‘how many more will go?’(JSV)