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Cromwell Smith knocks PR efforts of CCT

- Says a number of factors contributed to layoffs
Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka, knocked the Public Relations efforts of CCT Global Communications amidst staff dismissals while stating that several factors contributed to the company's downsizing. Photo: VINO
According to Cromwell Smith, CCT workers were given two months’ notice of their termination and were asked to leave the job immediately for security reasons even as they are being paid their regular salary and given benefits during the period of notice. Photo: VINO/File
According to Cromwell Smith, CCT workers were given two months’ notice of their termination and were asked to leave the job immediately for security reasons even as they are being paid their regular salary and given benefits during the period of notice. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Commentator Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka has knocked CCT Global Communications’s public relations efforts in getting messages out in times of crisis, explaining, “You could send out information to the public and you could write it in such a way that, if it’s too difficult to understand, you still won’t get the message out.”

He opined that there seemed to be a misconception in a prevailing thought that the more persons sounded educated [in delivering messages], then it was the more they would be understood and respected.

Speaking on the Umoja radio programme last evening, June 6, 2013 Mr Smith had offered that part of the reason for the company's recent layoffs centred on competition among the three major communications companies in the Virgin Islands (VI) and CCT’s recent ‘catastrophic event’ that occurred just before the dawn of the new year.

CCT experienced a hardware problem that forced a complete shutdown of its voice and text platforms and prevented customers from communicating by mobile phones within the Virgin Islands for a significant period. The company subsequently entered into a roaming agreement with its competitors, LIME and Digicel BVI, that allowed its customers mobile access.

According to a press release that was sent at the time, “The cause of the outage was identified on Sunday, December 30, as a communication problem between the CCT switch and the cell sites. The GSM service interruption is currently affecting CCT mobile service, and as a result call service in the BVI is unavailable. CCT customers roaming outside of our network are not affected by the outage.”

Smith also stated, “They had that event and of course they had some unfair competition that the TRC, in my view, failed to really mitigate in an expeditious manner.”

He felt that even though the issue of unfair competition was sorted to some degree, elements of unfair competition still remain between the telecommunications competitors in the VI.

Smith, while describing himself as pro-worker, said he looked at the issue from a nationalist perspective where companies were locally owned.

“You know you can’t live without your phone service,” he said, “that’s like our electricity, that’s like our water supply… I lump all of those things in vital national interest and anytime those things are under attack, I see a national security threat.”

Smith hinted that CCT officials shelved the deceptive idea of laying off employees in the hope that they would be re-hired “once things picked up”. “To the owners, that wasn’t the best thing for the employees, to lay them off [having] them thinking there is a possibility of coming back when they know there was no possibility of coming back, at least not in the near future,” he said.

He said workers were given two months’ notice of their termination and were asked to leave the job immediately for security reasons even as they are being paid their regular salary and given benefits during the period of notice. The commentator reasoned that while it is always sad for workers to lose their jobs and be terminated, he didn’t know of any other way that the terminations could have been done any better.

According to Mr Smith, management both ‘cried’ and ‘prayed’ with staff members during a meeting, even as they announced a decision to reduce the workforce of the company.

Smith said his understanding of the situation, coming from both employers and employees, is that there was a meeting where staff members prayed together and an owner was driven to tears because of the ‘heart wrenching’ nature of the decision ahead.

“It was a decision based on the fact that you had so many people working in the organisation that really didn’t have that much to do,” Mr Smith said. He reasoned that the layoffs were suggestive of cases where technology has been replacing workers.

24 Responses to “Cromwell Smith knocks PR efforts of CCT”

  • asura (07/06/2013, 07:55) Like (7) Dislike (11) Reply
    please cromwell go from here wid your blh blah blah and wheel and come again
  • DarkVader (07/06/2013, 08:22) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
    Nonsense Cromwell!! You here trying to smooth this over. You see that is where I am having a problem with our own. Locals found the money to buy CCT and the first thing they do is fire their own people. This could have been avoided or handled a different way. How about asking them to take pay cut for a year until the company can see their way clear. The two main shareholders are heartless and cold. How re these people suppose to pay their mortgages and rent? I leaving CCT and going to Lime.
    • nonsense (07/06/2013, 10:18) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
      What the hell you want the people to do? We bringing Companies in to kill the Investment Club but we are not thinking on what else could happen. Now, we have persons out of a job while Companies like Digicel and LIME sending their monies out of the country. Let us all remember that while we trying to hurt some, others will also get hurt.

      Similarly, why do you think we here dying for water? Trying to kill Investment Club with Biwater and instead, killing the people of this country.
      • bvi (07/06/2013, 12:03) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        @nonsense, The problem with CCT isn't Digicel nor LIME, its called bad management. They took all the profits from the company built private mansions, bought Village Cay, bought Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, and failed to re invest into the company. What did you expect, with compettitors with newer better products? Put money back into company... Rule 1.

        As for your water problem, it is not Biwater. Tell the NDP government, who are shareholders in OC to allow Biwater to complete their installation and we will all get inexpensive water. But they not going to do that as long as Ocean Conversion is oerating the Baughers Bay Plant at 1.2 million dollars a year.
        • Truth (07/06/2013, 12:45) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply

          So how do you know when Biwater is finished you will have inexpensive water? Just because Mr White said so you believe it, but our local boys are the crooks right? You will soon learn about Biwater, stay tuned man. Where is the FREE waste treatment plant? You believed that too? Come to find out on the fineprint said it would be purchased using monies from Government that they paid for water? So is it really Free? Is it really inexpensive? Do you think Water and Sewage new payment rules are just a coincidence? This is all getting ready for Biwater coming on stream and don't believe it will be cheap. The BVI never needed a new water plant. It needs the infrastructure fixed. What use is there producing water and you can't pump it to the homes? It was said that Biwater would be doing pipe laying, road works and treatment plant. Up to now they can't figure out how to get water into their plants so you stop there with your bull$h1t. Whether Investmetn club invested in CCT or not that would not have helped. They had too much staff. Does LIME even hvae 16ppl? Does Digicel even have 10? But CCT lays off 16 and is still in operation so what that tell you? They were overstaffed. The point is CCT hired more locals than the others and nwo they had to let them go. BAM

          • bvi (07/06/2013, 15:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply

            @Truth, You are so full of bull it is not funny. You said the fine prin said the sewage treatment plant would be bought from water sale? Why do you people lie to feel good and to impress others? There is no fine print in the Water Purchase Agreement. Why dont you read it for your self instead of listening to that lying Minister? Don't you understand that it is a game the Minister is playing, the longer they keep Biwater from producing water, the more money in their (NDP Ocean Conversion) pockets. 1.2 million dollars a year.

            How do I know that the water will be inexpensive? There is a contract, you fool. Just tell your NDP friends to stop playing games with the taxpayers of the BVI, This whole thing will end up osting the Government 100s of millions of dollars. STOP PLAYING GAMES, LET BIWATER EXECUTE THEIR CONTRACT.

        • opps (07/06/2013, 15:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          VIRGIN GORDA YATCH HARBOUR IS MESS AND AS LOCAL WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVE , IT NEEDS BETTER MAINTENCE, PLEASE SPEN D THE MONEY THAT YOU GET FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND FIX VILLAGE CAY THE HARBOUR , CCT, AND OCEAN CONVERSION ALL NEED A FACE LIFT.YOU CANT TKE OUT AND DONT PUT IN .
        • @bvi (09/06/2013, 23:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Interesting point because LIME have similar issues because when it was just them they never invested into themselves - if they had they wouldn't be struggling now. Note that they have completely stopped investing in their employees
    • Real Talk (07/06/2013, 19:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wid you darkvader, I done leave since this happen. Some of those people were the reasons we stayed and put up with their crappy service. No morals at all, they could of given them the opportunity to take paycuts rather than take them out of bread totally. Cromwell I don't know why they fooling you, but stop covering up with this 2 months salary payments nonsense, only 4 employees who served more than 20 years will receive such pay, the other 12 were not so fortunate. Did they tell you that they sent all the employees packing with empty envelopes no money only intent to pay and that they will get their severance paid to them over a 2 month period after their last day of pay. That sound like IOU or credit terms, outrageous. Them buying time to find money to pay these people but what happens if they don't find the money to pay??? if they so financially strapped??? I hope labor steps in an give these people justice and not slide this one under the carpet to protect political friends associated with the bvi investment club with another bad action their part.
      • Jack Rafter (07/06/2013, 22:53) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        @Real Talk, lie me give you a much needed education. You said they will be paying severance over a period of 2 months, and you said they are hoping to raise the money in the time, but suppose they don't get it? Well silly you, because these people has no shortage of cash. Remember they took over the government owned Baughers Bay Water Plant which the government operated with a staff of 5 for less than 125,000 dollars a year, and they are doing it for 1.2 million dollars. That is almost 1.1 million dollars for absolutely nothing.

        These are the kind of heartless people you are up against. Some of those same people they laid off are NDP, I hope the now see what a liar the Premier is, when he said the ECONOMY IS ROBUST.
    • L.... worst (07/06/2013, 20:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      Lemon is just as bad

  • WHY? (07/06/2013, 08:40) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why he always trying to find excuses for the NDP and BVI 9investment club???strupps
  • BuzzBvi (07/06/2013, 09:04) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Look at how one sided he is; in a time when the focus should be on over 16 x employees without jobs, he gets on radio and now vino focusing on whether the CCT spin/propaganda was effective…how can we every take Edju En Ka, serious ever again

    Hope he does a better job with the hospital Pr…
  • Hmmmmm (07/06/2013, 09:15) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cromwell is and will always be a hypocrite. He is like the dog going to the river with a bone and seeing his reflection in the water thought he could get another bone and dropped the one in his mouth. Cromwell please for God sake stop swinging to and fro, let the management and board of CCT get on the show and speak the truth to the public they prayed and cried. WHEN.....LMAOL
  • . (07/06/2013, 09:18) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    the wages of greed is bankruptcy.
  • pope paul (07/06/2013, 09:22) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Those tears were crocodile tears.
  • son of the soil (07/06/2013, 09:23) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Support your own but dont let them frig you.
  • Fed Up (07/06/2013, 10:03) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    People I have no stake in CCT whatsoever but as a business person if I invest $500,000.00 into a company and realize they're dead weights working at the company just showing up to work and getting pay while the company is struggling to survive of course I would've done the same. It's a business first and foremost so in order for my investment to be returned hard decisions have to be made. I guarantee if you ask all of them who were let go if they would defer their salary so the company can revive not one would've deferred. If the company is in such a state they are the lucky ones.
    • Business (07/06/2013, 11:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Fed Up you have made the most sense with your blog. People need to understand just how the real world of business works in this place, and globally. Tough decisions in a tough market.
  • nonsense (07/06/2013, 12:52) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply

    Fedup you are right. People think because you are rich or well off it means you must take care of them. Nothing goes like that. The club can buy what the hell they want with their money. It is theirs. Were you there when they started? Do you know how many of them had to mortgage house/land etc and put up their last to get it started? All you see now is the glitter and gold so you talk $h1t. They had too many staff there hanging around doing shit so I don't know what you talking about. To me it took them too long to make that move as it was killign the company. They have some issues internally yes but being rich doesn't obligate them to keep people employed if the business is going under. Just because people have a big house and drive a nice car means they are millionnaires. When people work for their things see them and leave them. This stupid mentality will kill this place but wait, some day many of you will have businesses and realize what time it is. For now keep sucking on the breasts.

  • Buff-Baff (07/06/2013, 19:23) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    We have to first accept the fact that we chose a capitalistic type of society. In capitalism, if you can't handle the heat of business competition then stay out. CCT has been r@p*ng the Territory for so long without competition that they seem to think that the country them something. When I spend my money I try to get the best value for it; remember this is capitalism. When CCT was r@p*ng the country (the caller and the recipient each paying 75 cents a minute = $1.50 a minute) they were not thinking about making investments to improve the service. We hat to "trek wat we get". Now that competition come stronger they bawling foul. Let them dip back in their pockets and reinvest to match the competition. And it is ethically and morally wrong for the government to use the TRC to keep the competition off them and keep them in the game. This country is too small to have government propping up private enterprises with public funds. These people need to get off their behind, do some proper management and, instead do stuffing their pockets with the profits, reinvest and build. The big profit will come later.

  • @Buff (08/06/2013, 03:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stop talking what you know nothing about....do you know that for all the years before liberalization Cable and Wireless never paid CCT a dime for terminating calls on its network even though that was the practice in every single other country in the world!!!! So what you expect CCT to do?? They had to charge and by the way it is still a common practice in the US etc to pay for incoming calls so stop chatting nonsense about r@p!mg the country you just trying to drum up stuff from the past but tell the whole story!!!!!! Why don't you talk about the fact that when Cable and Wireless knew that liberalization was going to happen they increased their prices for local calls.....Do you know it is more expensive to place a local call than to call to the USA and by the way the wireless market is liberalized with three players. Who else is in the landline market??? So who raping the country?? Talk that tell the whole story
  • ABC (08/06/2013, 21:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    In the next week or so you would not be hearing a word from Cromwell. With that $11,000 dollar a mth. consultancy contract, he is once again a born again NDP.


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