TNM plc, one of the country’s integrated mobile network and ICT service providers, has laid off about 20 percent employees in a move the company said is meant to align it to changes in the telecommunications industry.
In a written response, TNM plc head of marketing Sobhuza Ngwenya said the decision followed the organisation’s development and functional review exercise in May which led to 137 less jobs in its structure.
He said out of the affected number, 45 employees volunteered to leave.TNM had 713 employees before the retrenchment and now remains with 576.
Said Ngwenya: “The functional review exercise follows changes in the telecommunications industry. In a more data-driven future, TNM will work like an internet company. This requires fewer staff as well as staff with a different skills profile; hence, TNM is adapting to these changes in the market environment and circumstances.
“The organisational review was done across the company from management down the lowest level.”
The development comes at a time the company, listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE), reported a 15 percent revenue growth to K91.18 billion from K79.59 billion the previous year and that its profit-after-tax jumped by 27 percent to K16.67 billion from K13.1 billion.
Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovations spokesperson Christina Mkutumula asked for more time to comment on the matter.
But Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) secretary general Dennis Kalekeni yesterday described the retrenchment as a sad development.
He said: “There is no more job creation in the country and I think the best that we can do is to maintain and sustain the jobs that we already have. But where the jobs are not being created and existing jobs are being phased out through retrenchment, then that poses a threat to the whole country in terms of development.”
Kalekeni said government has a duty to create an enabling environment for the private sector development and job creation.
In September 2017, our sister newspaper, Weekend Nation, reported that 1 500 workers were fired in 2016 and that 3 000 jobs were at stake in 2017 as employers resorted to laying off staff, citing the country’s unfavourable business environment and the effects of global economic crisis, among other triggers.