Airtel Sacks Over 3000 Customer Care Staff

Telecommunications company Airtel now run by Indians has sacked over 3000 of their customer care staff for failing to accept a massive reduction in their salaries.
The Airtel customer care staff were previously being paid 80,000 Naira a month and objected to the reduction of their salaries to 65,000 Naira a month (with no additional incentives).
According to sources Airtel outsourced their customer service to an Indian company which is not willing to compromise on the salary being offered to staff.
Airtel has previously been accused of subjecting staff to difficult working conditions especially since  all the top executives were replaced with Indians.
Rival Nigerian owned Globacom (Glo Nigeria) pays its customer care staff 200,000 Naira monthly.
Other sources state that customer care calls are now being answered in Ghana due to the absence of Airtel customer care staff in Nigeria.

35 Comments

  • It’s not true that globacom pays 200,000 naira for her staff a month……..The truth is that they pay about 1,000,000 / yr and if you do the calculations it comes down to far less than 70k because other charges involved. The truth is that telecommunication is turning Nigerians into modern slavery because there’s no job elsewhere people are forced to take shity jobs. The labour organisations should take up things like this and same goes for MTN. PDP is killing this country we need leaders that owe nobody&ready to perform&help the masses.

  • they already know d rate of unemployment in the country. Knowing this, they will still get people to do the job even if the current pay is reduced by 50%. It all just boils down to quality of service. Peace

  • Why is it dat we nigerians love treating ourselves badly? i believe dat an indian man can never have it in mind to reduce his worker’s salaries under any circumstances.i believe is a nigerian dat suggested such ideas.

  • This story is totally incorrect, factually and otherwise.
    Airtel, in the first place, doesn’t have as many staff in Nigeria. Secondly, Airtel did not sack a single member of staff. The purported staff, who are claiming that they were sacked, are Call Centre Agents, who are employees of two Agencies, who provide Agents for two partners, Tech Mahindra and Spanco-who provide Airtel Call Centre Services.
    Contrary to the report here, which sadly was unchecked/unverified was that the Agents, about 1545 of them were out of contract by Friday, Spetember 2011. Tech Mahindra and Spanco have indicated in a joint statement that they would like to hire agents directly on their roll, which will include new Agents and some of the old Agents, who meet their specifications.
    So, Airtel did not sack any Agents as they were not Airtel’s employees and Airtel does NOT run Call Centres.
    I have also attached the joint statement by Tech Mahindra and Spanco here:
    JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT BY TECH MAHINDRA AND SPANCO ON SUSPENSION OF CALL CENTRES

    Lagos, Nigeria; Monday, October 03, 2011: We, Tech Mahindra and Spanco, are global Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) companies and providers of Call Centre services to Airtel Nigeria, operating out of two call centres in Lagos and Abuja, respectively.

    Our attention has been drawn to several messages circulating in cyberspace alleging that our 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 facts right.

    Last year, following the signing of a landmark BPO Agreement with the Airtel Group, we jointly inherited over 1,600 Call Centre agents from Bezaleel, HR Indexx and CCSNL who hitherto provided agents for the company known then as Zain. The contract existing between us and two of the agencies namely CCSNL and HR Index expired effective Friday September 30, 2011. The third agency, Bezaleel’s, contract will expire in January 2012. So, there is no issue of mass sack but expiration of existing contracts.

    Prior to the expiration of the contracts, we had engaged representatives of the Agents and that of the organized Labour on how to manage their transition to our 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.

    Going forward, our plan is to recruit new agents and also offer some of the affected agents a new contract with attendant salaries and benefits based on their qualifications and experience. Our vision is to expand the Call Centre business in Nigeria to 5000 capacity, ultimately.

    On the issue of salaries, we state categorically that as world class organizations, we offer our employees remuneration and benefits comparable to standards across the world and in compliance with the working and labour 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.

    It is important to note 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).

    We are committed to growing the BPO industry in Nigeria and by so doing we will 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.

    Signed:

    K SANKARALINGAM
    CEO – SPANCO, AFRICA
    SPANCO CHANNEL BPO LIMITED

    SUJIT BAKSI
    PRESIDENT CORPORATE AFFAIRS & BSG
    TECH MAHINDRA

  • Well, I believe you Seyi, thats true, A foreigner will never come to another man’s land (country) and take this drastic decision without the consent or back by a citizen of that country, My brothers and sisters, let’s believe our government are not aware of this and we are using this medium to inform them about drastic step taking by the new Management of Airtel Nigeria.

  • †̥ђǻ†̥’z very bad of our telecommunication companies,federal Government I̶̲̥̅̊S̶̲̥̅ ought †Φ know what †Φ ‎​D̶̲̥̅̊Ơ̴̴̴̴̴̴͡ about those so called Oyibo’s way of enslaving d̶̲̥̅̊ citizen of Nigeria all i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ d̶̲̥̅̊ name of № job,as far as Nigeria as a country I̶̲̥̅̊S̶̲̥̅ concerned Govt can still ‎​D̶̲̥̅̊Ơ̴̴̴̴̴̴͡ something †Φ save us from d̶̲̥̅̊ modern style of slavery i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ Nigeria……tanx

  • I will like to respond to the comments by mr SANKARALINGAM, first and foremost I guess you are not a Nigerian. What exactly is the issue, was there an actual slash in salary? The issues of them running out of contract, I guess you are just trying to paint the whole story. If we had a good government in this nation, I believe all this won’t be happening, I wonder how foreign investors will come and be victimising us in our own nation and the so called foreigners get the best of life living here in Nigeria, whereas they can’t live such lives ion there own country. I still will blame our unstable governance in Nigeria, because they don’t make this companies know there terms and condiotions of operation. Its so sad this could be happening Nigerian citizens. We need to wake up and act fast before we go back to era of colonism

  • Hmmm, each time I sit and read stories about Nigeria I only want to cry for my dear country, cry in the sense that our leaders are just out for the money they want to make for themselves and their families alone, otherwise why won’t a responsible govt on hearing this make a press statement concerning it? Why are there no laws governing d so called investors on employment? I think d local content issue needs to also be implemented in the telecomms sector too. Let our leaders give this wonderful nation a sense of direction and purpose. Thank u

  • I would like to contribute and react to the​ statement made by Emekaoparah, obviously, you are an insider, so I am not surprised that you have that document. I just want to speak to your conscience and ask you some basic questions.

    First, it is disappointing that it is at this time the head of HR(Airtel) would come out and publicly say ‘they are not airtel staff and are not on airtel payroll’, it is really pathetic, bcos agents say ‘welcome to airtel and not welcome to spanco, tech mahindra, bezeal, ccsnl, or HR-indexx.

    Why is it that airtel cannot employ agents directly? when it is not as if they don’t have the money to pay, whether you like it or not, airtel still pay the agents indirectly, bcos it is from the​ money they give either the​ BPOs or the​ agencies they pay to the agents, that is after they most have slashed it by half.

    This case is a clear scenario of monkey dey work, baboo they chop, it’s just uncomprehensible, when you treat agents as if they are nobody, when it this same people that bring in the​ millions you take home to your own family, you travel the​ world for holidays and you don’t want that person that does the work to also enjoy or put smiles on the face of his child.

    I am fully aware that the rules of a contract most be upheld, but when the​ exploit becomes too much or unbearable, you speak up even if the job is at stake. It’s better off than being a coward. I am very sure the Indians are not acting on their own accord, even if we very well know, they don’t care for the welfare of others, or they don’t believe Nigerians should have cars or eat good food, or leave lavishly becos of their poverty or slavery mentality, I also believe they are Nigerians that insite them.

    On a final note, the plan to recruit new agents is true only with poor working conditions, but they are trying to lay off old agents bcos they would obviously not accept pay cut, poor working conditions, need for increment in salary and conditon of service. I most tell all that if not for this outburst by agents, these Indians don’t have good intentions at all, they just want to continue ​wђat they have been doing in other African countries, but it won’t work in Naija. This fight is not for those involved, but for the future of the Nigerian youth who seeks to work with a multinational, so the least you can do as a Nigerian is support this just cause and speak up!

  • Z’kiel thank u so much,u’v said it all.
    To Emekaoprah: M sorry u hv not realized d true nature of these indians. I assure you: They will dump you like a refuse after buying and using you. Mark my word!

  • Emeka Opara, I am very shocked to see that you deliberately refused to indicate that you are the director of communications for Airtel. Even more pathetic is your unconscionable decision to refer to these workers as non-Airtel staff.

    Emeka, some of us know more than you are saying because we’ve been there before. The least one expects from you (for conscience sake) is to keep quiet. And please tell Jubril Saba to keep quiet too. His explanations are inelegant.

    I support whatever action is necessary to sanction the new Indian owners of Airtel. The company had endured a gradual deteroriation from its glory days as Econet up to its time as Zain. But these indians came and introduced a new paradigm; turning the company to a modern day slave camp. Call centre unit especially.

  • Sorry to say it is people like Emeka that go to the extreme to sale their brothers into slavery, because of their unpatriotic and greedy nature, as long as the achieve their selfish aim. But I assure you nemesis will catch up with you very soon. I commend the Airtel staffs for what they are doing. it will serve as eye opener to my fellow Nigerians and the beginning of a revolution to reed naija of these blood sucking multinationals. Naija go better my people

  • Airtel I don’t blame you on that. Just couple of days ago I read in one of the Nigerian newspapers an interview with Prof. Wole Soyinka justifying the recognition of Libyan rebels by Jonathan. While these rebels are killing Nigerians and other blacks from African countries.

  • Wherever you see Indians at the helm of affairs , I am sure there is nothing good for avarage nigerians who work with them.I am very sure the formation of the managemnt team will be 99% indians and 1% Nigerians and other nationals.Waht would you expect the outcome to be if not to favour them (Indians) I have worked with them in one of the Food processing companies in Lagos,immidately after my graduation in 1999,they are slave drivers. No matter how intelligent you are or hardworking they will treat you as shit. I prayed never to have anything to do with them and thank GOD i never met them as i climb up the ladder. But my last move into telco,alas they are there again. So they are everywhere taking up the jobs which ordinary nigerians will do.The essence of expatriate is to occupy the position wherever there requred skill set is not found in the country and they are to transfer the knowlege to the Nigerians who understudy them. But the situation is not like that ,they (indians) take up all manner of jobs from Store keeper,sales,marketers,call center agents and so on. Or somebody wants to tell me that the indian guy at the park n shop ,or Mega palza who collects money or attends to customers does a special job that Nigraian cannot do? Even if i am not an Airtel staff ,I will always believe what is said about them at Airtel.They are exploitative and naturally takes advantage wherever they can get it.In Nigerian situation,the institutions that control each industry is very weak hence foregners have their field days on whatever they want to do to nigerians workers.It is hightime that NLC/TUC/Nigerian govt call this people to order.They are not better off ,i have worked with them for several years.Infact some of them are secondary school cert. holder or better still OND qualification,but they are treated like kings while the Nigerians who have all the degrees are paid poorly.GEJ ple help your brothers.

  • PRESS STATEMENT

    AIRTEL DOES NOT EMPLOY CASUAL STAFF AND DID NOT SACK ANY EMPLOYEES

    …SEEKS SUPPORT FOR ITS FACILITIES

    Lagos, Nigeria: Airtel Nigeria refers to media reports today, Wednesday, October 5, 2011 regarding a press conference by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) accusing our organization of casualisation.

    Also, there have been reports in some sections of the media and several mobile text messages being circulated alleging that Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) had sacked 3000 of its employees.

    Airtel strongly denies these allegations, which are completely false and are aimed at running a vicious campaign based on misinformation. While we are making efforts to resolve this unfortunate development, we would like to highlight some facts, which put the entire matter in the correct perspective.

    • Airtel DOES NOT employ casual workers in any part of our organization. We did outsource our Call Centre services to Tech Mahindra and Spanco, two of the biggest and highly reputable Business Processes Outsourcing (BPO) organizations in the world with global footprint. We also seamlessly outsourced our Information Technology (IT) to IBM, while our networks services are outsourced to Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks as part of an eco-system of global partners.

    • Airtel DID NOT sack any employee. The employees, being referred to, work for Tech Mahindra and Spanco, who provide us Call Centre services.

    • The employees in question were contracted through two employment agencies namely HR Indexx and CCSNL, whose contracts with Tech Mahindra and Spanco expired on September 30th, 2011.

    • Spanco and Tech Mahindra have informed us that they are working on plans to recruit new employees, which will also include some of the employees whose contracts have expired.

    • While we do not interfere in the businesses of our partners, we have advised them to manage the situation with utmost professionalism and with due regards to Nigerian Labour Laws and practices.

    • We have also ensured that our partners, most importantly, have taken adequate measures to ensure our customers continue to get service support.

    We also want to bring to the attention of Nigerians that at the time of issuing this statement, some elements purporting to be members of NLC, have shut down 15 of our showrooms across the country, and also attacked our Switch in Abuja thereby cutting off over 5 million Nigerians from our network in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and parts of northern Nigeria. We appeal to our customers in the affected areas to please bear with us as we work with the Nigeria Police to regain access to our Switch and restore services.

    We call on the Federal Government, through the security agencies, to urgently halt the activities of these individuals, who are currently on a nationwide campaign to disrupt our operations with severe security implications and put the lives of our employees at risk.

    Airtel is a law abiding organization and has contributed immensely to Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria and created numerous job opportunities for Nigerians directly and indirectly. We remain resolved in our commitment to provide our customers innovative and affordable telecoms services backed by world-class customer care even as we engage the community with educationally relevant CSR initiatives.

  • i work for indians. they are the worst kinds of bastards to work with. they not only cheat you, they use you. i am entitled to only 15days in a year as leave, no leave allowance. but the indianss are entitled to one full month of leave with allowance. they dont salaries of staff who fall sick and on their wedding days even. they dont give official cars to nigerians, only indians that some are just secondary school leavers. guess what i dont blame them. our leaders are busy loading their pockets with our national cake and creating wealth and oppurtunies for their children that they dont care what happens to their people. my cousin just returned from india, their government raised the money paid to expatriates so high that many companies had to let them go just to create jobs for their people. back home our leaders collect money from them and look the other way at the way they treat nigerians. i wonder what nlc is doing. i dont complain because i av known that this body is filled with people who are only interested in what they can get and not fighting for the average nigerian. also some nigerian employers are worse off. so we are only praying God to help us. but one question i ask , can they do this in any developed country? we still have a long way to go. This is just the beginning. i bet you all this will go down without them doing anything after speaking english in the house. business as usual

  • 4 all the in4mation 2gather der is no reason why airtle shld take such decision, der bter repent or GOD ll‘do sometin

  • I think the government should something about that even Mtn customer care agent are payed too bad mostly the agent in Jos. Government pls them out

  • This is a clarion call to all Nigerians to destroy all their airtel simcards, and data networks on airtell and move
    enmasse to Glo and Nitel!

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