Airtel Nigeria Denies Sack of Workers

Bharti Airtel denies allegations of sacking staff at Nigeria unit.

Operator alleged to have laid off call centre employees over pay dispute.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. Friday denied allegations it sacked staff at its call centers in Nigeria, while its outsourcing partners said their contracts with these staff couldn’t be renewed.

The denial comes after widespread protests by Nigerian labor groups over the alleged dismissal of 3,000 employees working at Bharti Airtel’s call centers in the African country following a salary dispute.

Local media reports in Nigeria said the protests led the country’s lower house of parliament to ask its labor committee and sector regulator — the Nigerian Communications Commission — to look into the issue.

Airtel did not sack any employee. The employees being referred to work for Tech Mahindra and Spanco, who provide us call center services,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement. The company added that it doesn’t employ casual workers.

Tech Mahindra Ltd. and Spanco Ltd. backed Bharti Airtel’s statement.

In a joint statement issued from the Nigerian capital of Lagos, both Tech Mahindra and Spanco said certain contracts between the two companies with the staff of firms that were previously offering call center services to Bharti Airtel’s Nigerian unit have expired.

Bharti Airtel last October hired Tech Mahindra, along with International Business Machines Corp. and Spanco, to provide business process outsourcing services to the carrier’s operations in 16 African countries, including Nigeria, after it acquired the assets of Kuwait-based Mobile Telecommunications Co. in the continent.

Tech Mahindra and Spanco said their contracts with two local staffing agencies that supplied them with call center agents expired on Sept. 30, and a third will expire in January 2012.

They added that when negotiations on re-employing the staff failed, the two companies were compelled to immediately suspend the call center operations because of “an apparent threat to our facilities by some of the agents.”

Tech Mahindra and Spanco also said they plan to expand their call center operations offered to Bharti Airtel and will ultimately hire 5,000 staff in Nigeria, including some of those who lost jobs due to the suspension of operations since Sept. 30.

“Our plan is to recruit new agents and also offer some of the affected agents a new contract with attendant salaries and benefits based on their qualifications and experience,” the two companies said.

Operator alleged to have laid off call centre employees over pay dispute.
their qualifications and experience,” the two companies said.
(By R. Jai Krishna, Dow Jones Newswires)


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1 Comment

  1. Me says:

    When did Lagos become the capital of Nigeria? They should get their acts together quickly. Airtel is one very shity network anyway.

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