Instead of engaging them in work, the operator now appointed two vendors or third parties to manage its service
Grameenphone, the country's largest mobile phone operator, looks to terminate a good number of permanent employees to minimise costs in the light of negative growth of revenue and users.
As part of its cost cutting plan, 182 employees, who were asked to work from home after the Covid-19 outbreak in March, have already been kept in the firing line.
The termination list includes executives, senior system engineers, system engineers and RMC employees too, said Mia Masood, general secretary of Grameenphone Employees' Union (GPEU).
Instead of reengaging them in work, the operator now has appointed two vendors or third parties to manage its services.
Vice-President of the GPEU Fazlul Haque said these employees have not been given any work since they came back to office on May 1.
"Our previous experience says they are in fear of losing their jobs," said Fazlul.
Of 182 employees, 130 are from different technical units while 52 are of the recently-closed 15 Grameenphone centres across the country.
In 2012, the operator had 4,300 permanent employees which has now dropped to 2,100 due to regular job cuts.
The GPEU has already appealed to the departments concerned of the government, including Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Telecommunications and the state minister for Labour, to provide proper and legal guidance to Grameenphone so that employees, customers and network services and potential public and national interests are protected.
Mia Masood, GPEU general secretary, said, "Grameenphone is going to take a suicidal decision with the firing of their employees, who played a key role in making it the number one mobile operator in Bangladesh. We strongly condemn and protest this decision and call for the reinstatement of all idle workers."
He said the union will not accept any illegal dismissal in violation of labour laws.
"If necessary, we will take to streets," Mia Masood added.
However, Grameenphone could not be contacted for comments despite several attempts.
Due to the adverse impact of the pandemic and the tussle with the regulatory body, the operator reported negative growth both in revenue collection and in the number of subscribers in the second quarter of 2020.
The service provider reported a total of Tk3,310 crore in revenue for the second quarter, registering an 8.2% de-growth from the same period last year.
In the second quarter, net profit after taxes was Tk730 crore, with a 22% margin.
The service provider reported 74.5 million customers, of them, 54.8% or 40.8 million are internet users.
Grameenphone lost 2 million subscribers at home during the first half. Of them, 0.8 million subscribers left the fleet solely in the first three months of the Covid-19 outbreak.