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Recession: Ericsson Fires 200 Nigerians, Hires Indian Workers

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Global telecommunications subsidiary, Ericsson Nigeria, yesterday dismissed nearly 200 of its permanent and outsourced staff in its Network Operating Centre.

Sources in the company who confirmed the disengagement, said it will actually take effect on Sunday, December 4, 2016, affecting 55 full-time employees of the company.

It was gathered that some workers were formally discharged in July and where replaced by Indianns, when the offshoring started.

Sources further revealed that the knowledge transfer had been going on since last year when some Indians were brought into the country to study the management of telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

A copy of the disengagement letter to the permanent workers signed by the Managing Director of the company, Johan Jemdahi reads, “Please be informed that effective December 4, 2016, your position has been declared redundant. We thank you for all your past services to Ericsson. Further information about the redundancy benefits will be communicated to you before the actual termination date.”

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Findings showed that in the last two and half years, Ericsson Nigeria had managed the MTN network majorly from its pool of local workers, some of who were former MTN employees, as well as other contracted workers.

One of the affected workers said that the company was offering the jobs, which involved the monitoring of MTN masts and networks in the country, to Indians at reduced costs.

The workers expressed fears that this would be a continuous trend in the telecommunications industry if it was not addressed by the government.

The employee, who pleaded annonymity said, “The Company said it was cheaper for the work to be done in India than in Nigeria. The monitoring of those masts can be done from anywhere. We monitor Abuja, Enugu, Asaba, and Port Harcourt sites from the Lagos office. What they are now proposing is that instead of monitoring from Lagos, they want to monitor from India.

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“They have taken the Airtel NOC office to India. They brought about 30 Indians to Nigeria last year to come and understudy the MTN network and after a month, they went back and started monitoring from there. There are no plans to pay compensation to the outsourced workers in the company.”