Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guyana could loose jobs as Digicel downsizes

Denis O'Brien wants to shed 450 jobs from his 4,500-strong Digicel workforce in the Caribbean.

The Irish businessman is planning to shed 10 percent of his staff by the end of February as part of cost-cutting proposals at the telecoms firm.

Staff were told of the plans yesterday.

Colm Delves, Digicel Group's chief executive, said the cutbacks are particularly relevant in the current economic environment.

He said even strong, fully funded companies like Digicel need to ensure they have a lean and efficient structure.

Digicel is the largest mobile provider in the Caribbean, with about seven million subscribers.

The redundancy plan applies to its operations in the Caribbean islands and El Salvador in Central America. Its interests in the Pacific Islands, Honduras, Panama and the British Virgin Islands are unaffected.

Mr O'Brien has overseen an investment of more than $3.4bn (€2.58bn) in Digicel's 31 markets since its launch in 2001.

Staff have until January 26 to apply for redundancy and will be informed if they have been accepted by February 5.

Digicel said it expected to complete the redundancy programme by the end of February.

The telecoms group said compulsory redundancies would be implemented if the required number of voluntary departures was not achieved.

- Caroline Crawford

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