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Telco Vodafone Qatar cuts 50 staff, trims allowances

Telco Vodafone Qatar cuts 50 staff, trims allowances

The company has yet to turn a profit after breaking Ooredoo’s monopoly in in 2009

Telecoms company Vodafone Qatar has reportedly cut 50 staff and is trimming allowances for other workers, citing “financial challenges”.

Doha News reports that the changes were announced in a memo to employees by the company’s new chief executive Ian Gray on Sunday.

The memo said all laid-off staff would stop working at the company from Wednesday May 4 to allow them time to find another job.

Gray, who took the reins of the company five months ago, said that staff with poor performance ratings in the past two years were also being sacked “to minimise disturbance in the market”, the publication reported.

In a statement to Doha News, he confirmed the move:

“We have taken the difficult decision to reduce our work force by approximately 50 people,” he said.

In the memo, the chief executive also revealed plans to cut generous allowances to staff that joined the company at or around its 2009 launch.

Allowances would be “standardised” to give all employees the same benefits, the memo stated. A retention scheme that paid staff an extra two months’ salary for each year worked is also being withdrawn.

Staff who spoke to Doha News said that the move was equivalent to a 20 per cent pay cut, but they had no choice but to sign the agreement or be sacked.

Vodafone Qatar has yet to turn a profit after breaking Ooredoo’s monopoly in the country in 2009.

In the nine months to December 2015 the company lost QAR 286m ($78.5m).

Gray’s predecessor Kyle Whitehill told Bloomberg shortly before he left the company that it would not break even until 2017 at the earliest due to slowing population growth and price competition from Ooredoo.

Rival Ooredoo also cut 100 Qatar-based staff two months ago due to declining economic conditions.

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