Monday, 29 September 2008

Bhutan : Addressing Bhutan Telecom’s employee discontent

29 September, 2008 - The chairperson of the board of Bhutan Telecom (BT), Dasho Dr Sonam Tenzin, told Kuensel that BT employees have failed to understand the intention behind the creation of the company’s core group.

Dasho Dr Sonam Tenzin made this observation after BT’s board of directors examined the appeal of some BT employees, who were unhappy at the organisation for promoting 11 of its members as the company’s core group recently.

The board met the 26 BT employees to settle the matter internally on September 25.

The appeal letter stated that the grievances were from 97 percent of BT employees but the chairperson said that the figure was “presumptuous”. He said that there were only 26 people, who had submitted the appeal letter, and, of them, seven had not signed.

During the meeting, employees expressed their disagreement over the so-called “core group” picked by the management. “The workers said that, instead of motivating employees, it has demotivated workers across the management,” said Dasho Dr Sonam Tenzin.

“We, however, let them know and understand that the concept of core group employees was pushed more strongly by the BT board than the BT management to restrategise its core business and be competitive in the market,” said Dasho Dr. Sonam Tenzin. “This group of people are experienced professionals, who would be given heavy responsibilities.”

But the board admitted to certain lapses when the management set the criteria to select these people, according to the chairperson. “It wasn’t transparent and the procedures weren’t very clear,” he said. “But, when we looked in to it and asked these employees, there was no evidence of corruption in the selection, as mentioned in the letter.”

The other complaint of the employees during the meeting was the unequal allowances given to them. The chairperson said that the board would look in to it.

The appeal letter included many things such as names of some general managers to be “rooted out”, as they had a hand in manipulating and picking their favourites as the “indispensable” employees. To this, the board pointed out that they had taken a wrong route in expressing their grievances and by personally attacking some managers. “If they had problems, they should have gone to the management or the board members because there are systematic procedures laid out,” said Dasho Dr Sonam Tenzin.

By Phuntsho Choden and
Tenzin Namgyel

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