By Hayal Alemayehu
Activities at the newly-formed Ethio Telecom have come near a standstill with the majority of the former Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation’s (ETC) workers staying inactive. “Almost all functions have ceased at the newly restructured telecom,” a company official who did not want to be named told The Reporter because the person is not entitled to provide information to the press before France Telecom, the company which took over the management of the parastatal, is done with the appointment and recruitment of employees at the new entity.
“The majority of the workers are not coming to office,” the official said. “And some of those who do come have nothing to do.”
The new structure classifies former ETC’s workers and officials of France Telecom under five major categories: N-1, N-2, N-3, N-4 and N-5.
N-1 represents officials of French Telecom who will hold the top managerial positions, including the CEO post, while N-2 and N-3 incorporates senior and mid-level managers of ETC.
All the personnel assigned under the N-1, N-2, N-3 and N-4 categories are informed of their positions in their respective category.
The new structure has yet to decide the appointments of the majority of ETC’s employees accounting for over three-fourth of the entire staff, which is in excess of 12,000.
Classified under the N-5 category, some of the majority staffers have yet to be appointed while most of them are destined to be deployed in projects related to Ethio Telecom.
Led by Jean Micheal Latute, Ethio Telecom CEO, the management of the new company will appoint some of the majority of former ETC’s employees in phases. Those destined to be appointed in the first phase will be notified of their new duties late Friday or next week, according to informed sources.
Having done with the first phase appointment, the management will proceed with the rest in phases in the coming weeks. The management has also notified the employees of ETC to apply for newly-released posted in the N-4 this week.
While the majority of the workers are uncertain of their future with the new telecom, some, which did it to the higher and middle positions at the newly formed company, are expecting the best to come. Beginning next month, the Ethio Telecom staffers from the phased-out ETC will witness a robust monthly salary, according to sources. If all goes according to plan, Ethio Telecom will start paying a relatively “lucrative” salary to its employees which may not exceed 4,500, according to informed sources who clinched the top position at Ethio Telecom.
The team of France Telecom, who currently holds the helm at Ethio Telecom, will be paid 30 million euros for the two-year contract they took. And if their performance falls below 60 percent of the mark, the contract will be terminated. To this end, the French team are rigorously working out and watching over the allocation of manpower in the new telecom company.
In the meantime, activities have almost stopped at the head office and branches of Ethio Telecom. As teeters and stamps used by ETC are no longer in use by the newly-formed telecom, work orders are hardly passed, sources said. Unless there are “emergency” cases such as withdrawing of cash from banks or buying fuels for some of ETC projects, there are no activities seen in the head office or the branches except those in the sales front.
“The only service currently active at the company is the sales service, where employees of the company cannot interrupt communication and sales with customers,” a company official said. “Apart from the sales service, internal services and functions have almost frozen.”
To the dissatisfaction of some customers, those at the sales service unit are not “cooperative” as they used to be and are treating customers “coldly.”