The duo of Tech Mahindra and Spanco have exonerated Airtel Nigeria from the suspension of its call centres, which culminated in the relieving of some 3,000 call center agents.
Although the two operators of call centers for Airtel Nigeria, noted that as operators of global Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) , operating out of two call centres in Lagos and Abuja respectively, their attention have been drawn to several messages circulating on the internet alleging that their client, Airtel had fired 3,000 call centre agents due to a disagreement over a purported plan to reduce salaries.
“This is untrue and we want to use this medium to put the fact right,” part of the statement read.
Also, they said that last year, following the signing of a landmark BPO agreement with the Airtel Group, the duo jointly inherited over 1,200 Call Centre agents from Bezaleel, HR Indexx and CCSNL who hitherto provided agents for the company known then as Zain.
They explained that the contract existing between them and two of the agencies namely CCSNL and HR Indexx expired effective Friday September 30, 2011, therefore, the third agency, Bezaleel’s, contract will expire in January 2012.
“So, there is no issue of mass sack but expiration of existing contracts,”
Further, they stated that prior to the expiration of the contracts; they had engaged representatives of the agents and that of the organized Labour on how to manage their transition to the roll.
“Due to a lack of consensus on the way forward and an apparent threat to our facilities by some of the agents, we were compelled to suspend operations at the call centres last Friday, September 30, 2011,” they claimed, stressing that their plans is to expand the call centres nationwide, therefore they would also recruit new agents with about 5000 employees.
“Going forward, our plan is to offer some of the affected agents a new contract with attendant salaries and benefits based on their qualifications and experience,” part of the statement read.
They insisted that on salaries issues, and as world class organizations, they offer employees remuneration and benefits comparable to standards across the world and in compliance with the working and labor laws of Nigeria.
“We, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians, especially Airtel customers, to bear with us as we seek to expeditiously resolve the issues and re-open the call centres in the coming days. Indeed, we have also taken appropriate measures to ensure that our client’s customers experience minimal inconvenience during this brief period,” the duo submitted.
Just as they warned that the activities of these disgruntled agents are capable of frustrating investors with good intentions and make nonsense of the Federal Government’s drive for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
They reaffirmed their commitment to growing the BPO industry in Nigeria and give meaning to the quest by the Federal Government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to create jobs as part of his master plan to re-engineer the Nigerian economy.
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