Le Hunte defends closure of TSTT retail stores
Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte has defended the closure of nine TSTT retail stores.
Le Hunte said TSTT was making a $72 million loss from keeping the stores open.
He was responding to Senator Wade Mark, who criticised the decision to close the stores.
At the start of the year, TSTT closed the nine of its retail stores.
TSTT said that the move was part of its digital transformation after research showed more than 70 percent of the transaction activities at its bmobile retail stores are bill related.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) continues to protest the move.
However, Le Hunte defended the decision, saying it was a critical business decision.
“The closure of the nine retail stores by TSTT was a critical, strategic business decision taken to ensure the survivability of the company and its ability to strive and remain profitable in an extremely competitive global market environment,” the Public Utilities Minister said.
He explained that operating cost was way more than the revenue being generated.
“TSTT conducted an in-depth analysis of its retail operations which revealed the following: Operating cost of the nine stores was more than 80 million whereas incremental revenue generation was generated was less than 8 million. More than 300 workers were employed at these nine stores with wages and salaries in excess of the industry benchmark.”
Le Hunte said he has been advised that with the closure of the nine retail stores, TSTT has offered suitable and comparable positions within the organization to all permanent staff.
Also speaking in the Senate, Opposition Senator Wade Mark called on government to reverse the decision to shut down the nine retail stores and to reinstate the workers.
The Opposition Senator said questioned whether TSTT had gone mad.
“The first thing that they did without any explanation was to spend $255 million dollars of our taxpayers’ dollars in acquiring a mobile telecommunications system from Massy, a loss-making, we took up the slack, up to now we can’t get a proper explanation from government on this matter. Then on the heels of that we are being told as a public that they have shut down from the first of January, nine bmobile outlets,” Mark said.