Sri Lanka Telecom’s technical maintenance will be severely affected by the Sri Lanka Telecom Engineers Union’s decision to intensify its three-week-old work-to-rule campaign following what it called the SLT management’s failure to respond to its demands, a spokesman said.
He said the union asked the management to stop improper human resource practices including the appointment of under-qualified persons to top positions of the SLT on contract basis and later making them permanent, violating staff recruitment and promotion schemes.
The union also protested over irregular tender procedures and Chief Executive Officer Grieg Young’s failure to properly implement the company’s 800-million-rupee transformation programme and the iSriLanka project, which also cost several millions of rupees.
The union spokesman claimed that Mr. Young had left for Australia to avoid the crisis and save his job contract which ends which end early next year.
However in an e-mail reply from Australia, Mr. Young told the Sunday Times he travelled to Australia to attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony and to see his new grandson born earlier this week and the visit was planned two months ago. He dismissed the union claims as baseless.
Commenting on the ongoing trade union action which he claimed had the backing of only less than 5 per cent of the staff, the CEO said the management was in discussion with the union and ready to solve any genuine grievance the union might have.
He also claimed the current union action was not supported by other unions, while the main trade union alliance had even condemned it. He said a majority of the SLT employees worked tirelessly and responsibly to deliver high quality service to customers.
The iSri Lanka project began late last year and has been highly successful over the first four months of this year, with more than 470 new outdoor fibre nodes installed and operational, bringing improved fixed services, ultra-fast broadband and PEO TV service to tens of thousands of new customers, Mr. Young said.
The success of iSri Lanka had significantly contributed to the excellent first quarter results this year, with the revenue increasing by 7% and profit-before-tax growth of 37% compared to the corresponding period last year, he said.