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Cable & Wireless Jamaican staff lose a week of their holidays

Cable & Wireless reported a J.3bn (£7.4m) loss for the three months to the end of June

Cable & Wireless Communications, the London-based telecoms group that paid its chief executive £2.7m last year, has asked lowly paid staff in the Caribbean to forgo a week’s holiday to prop up the company’s ailing Jamaican business.

The company said its 800 Jamaican staff had agreed to lose one of their three or four weeks of annual leave and accept a reduced overtime rate to “create a more efficient business culture”. Cable & Wireless said the local unions had signed up to the “historic agreement” to help the Jamaican business stem its losses.

LIME Jamaica, which can trace its heritage to the 1890s, has failed to turn a full-year profit since 2007. Last month the company, which provides landline, mobile phone and broadband services, reported a J.3bn (£7.4m) loss for the three months to the end of June. Garry Sinclair, managing director, said: “This historic agreement marks a bold new beginning for all of us at LIME and it proves that empowered managers and visionary union leaders can reach consensus on objectives that will enable a more effective workforce and build a better business.”

Ludlow Lawla, chief delegate of the National Workers’ Union of Jamaica, said: “The real work starts now, but as employees we must be prepared to make sacrifices to secure the future of our company.”

Last year CWC’s chief executive, Tony Rice, collected .3m (£2.7m) in pay and bonuses from the controversial £30m private-equity style long-term incentive plan (LTIP).

Rice collected basic pay of .08m, bonuses and benefits of 6,000, pension contributions of 0,000plus .6m from the five-year LTIP plan. Rice’s total payout was 50% higher than the previous year, while the shares lost 17% of their value. The company’s top nine executives shared an LTIP bonus pool of £5m, with a further £4m of shares split between the top 20 employees. The company said the LTIP scheme, which has invoked the ire of shareholders and corporate governance bodies, has paid out more than £30m over five years.

CWC declined to comment on whether Rice is forgoing a week’s holiday to help the struggling Jamaican unit. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds