Confusion reigns at Ethio Telecom

01 January 2011, By Hayal Alemayehu (Reporter)

Employees of the now phased-out Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) are confused over the appointment of the N-5 category which decides the stake of most of ETC’s workers at the newly structured Ethio Telecom. Posted at the corporation’s head office last Saturday morning, the first phase of the N-5 appointment incorporated about 3333 employees of the former ETC. The parastatal has in excess of 12,000 employees most of which are destined not to make it to newly structured Ethio Telecom.

Following the notice posted at the head office, some of the employees of the corporation told The Reporter that most of ETC’s staffers were “confused” with the appointment which include employees who have passed away and those already living overseas.

While the criteria for the appointment at the new telecom considers educational background and experience, there are workers appointed at the N-5 category who have not even completed 12 grade in contrast to those who failed to make it to the list even though they are degree and diploma holders, according to ETC employees.

Although the N-5 category appointment has begin with the first phase that included over 3000 employees of ETC and will continue in the coming months, most employees were “frustrated” by the process as if the first phase appointment is the final one.

“We have only started the first phase appointment of the N-5 category,” Debretsion Gebremichael, Communication and Information Technology minister who oversee the new established Ethio Telecom, told The Reporter. “The appointment will continue in the coming months as I have said earlier and we cannot now tell how many will make it to Ethio Telecom.”

So far 700 to 800 staffers of ETC are appointed in the N-2, N-3 and N-4 categories while some 3333 are being appointed in the first phase of the N-5 class.

In the mean time, ETC’s labor union and the management of Ethio Teleocm have failed to reach an agreement over the appointment. Sources disclosed the labor has invited to file their complaints. Head of the ETC’s Labor Union, Addise Bore, has refused to comment on the matter saying that the labor has to wrap up administration issues with the management and the government before it provides information to the press. The Reporter’s attempt to obtain comment from the new management was not successful as well.

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