The biggest telecoms company in Guyana has asked workers to take a pay cut amid measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last few days, workers at the US-owned Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), have been in back and forth talks with management over conditions.
Staffers indicated that a decision was taken to send home none-essential employees and keep back technicians and others.
For the workers at home, they will be collecting 60 percent of their salaries.
However, frontline staffers have been objecting to proposals made by management, including from Chief Executive Officer, Justin Nedd.
Those proposals would see technicians calling customers with complaints of faults in advance and screening them before visits.
Technicians were being told that they should ask customers if anyone in their household is sick and from what.
However, technicians said they had no problems with that.
What they had a problem with, however, is being asked also to take a pay cut.
“Management has seen it fit to ask some staffers to stay home because of risks of Coronavirus and asking us to work. No big deal, but we in the frontline and our families at risk too…”
In fact, the workers said that they should be getting from GTT a risk allowance.
“We getting problems with even protective gear including gloves and sanitizers. Everything is a risk and GTT wants us to take a pay cut.”
According to the workers, they are already worried about the risks from the virus, which has seen a lockdown of the airports and borders and a countywide, month-long curfew.
They are also asking GTT for additional phone credit.
“GTT is giving credit to doctors and nurses for free. We commend that. What about us who have to do the work and working under new conditions of using our phones to call customers?”
The workers are calling for the administrators of GTT to rethink their plans to cut salaries, especially for technicians.
The news would come as a number of companies have announced measures to reduce impact on employees.
At least one bank has taken it upon itself to pay workers cash as part of the measures.
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