LIME laying off 39 people

| 17/02/2014

(CNS) Updated: Local telecommunications company LIME will be making 39 people redundant as a result of a new agreement the firm has signed to outsource the maintenance, installation and repair work on the external components of its fixed, mobile, Internet and data networks. The managed services agreement (MSA) with Ericsson comes into effect on 8 March and as a result staff in LIME’s service support and delivery team will separate from the company. As part of the agreement LIME said all of the impacted employees will “have the opportunity to reapply for roles with Ericsson”, which will be putting together a new team to deliver the services. Government officials said Monday evening that Ericsson must hire Caymanians or it could lose its Local Companies (Control) License.

As the local telecoms company restructures in order to improve customer service, there are no guarantees that all of the staff laid off will be given a new job with Ericsson, government said.

LIME, however, noted that it is offering staff assistance with CV's, interview techniques and free access for the next three months to its online courses at the LIME University to help former staff find a new job if they do not want to work for the new firm or are not offered employment with Ericsson .

However, government said the approval of the LLC to allow Ericsson to do business with LIME was based on six conditions, including that it hires locals.

“When we found out about this agreement we immediately thought of Caymanian workers and insisted on the language in the LLC to ensure our people are hired,” said Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts, who has responsibility for the ICTA.

Employment Minister Tara Rivers was also said to have met with representatives from Ericsson to ensure that the protection of Caymanian workers was factored into the intended workforce arrangement.

Meanwhile, Cayman islands Premier Alden McLaughlin stated that finding jobs for Caymanians who are willing and able to work remains a top priority for the Progressives government.

LIME has traditionally employed a high percentage of Caymanian workers and 37 of the 39 jobs that are going are held by Caymanians. The lay-offs represent around 30% of LIME's local workforce, which will now fall to 91 employees, 82 of whom are Caymanian.

In a press release about the management agreement LIME’s CEO Bill McCabe emphasised that the changes were about providing a better service to its customers.

“This commercial decision is in an effort to improve both the service levels we provide to customers and the efficiency with which we do so. LIME remains committed to enhancing customer experience across our range of services and this partnership best fits that goal. We felt it was strategically important to team up with a global leader in the industry and it is from this perspective that we agreed to go with Ericsson as a partner,” he added.

The firm said it was confident that Ericsson’s domain knowledge, economies of scale, network design, optimisation and field maintenance services are on par with best-in-class operators across the globe. Today 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks.

Category: Local News

Comments (97)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ericsson is poised to be an ideal candidate for Cayman Enterprise City.  They would fit well in the Special Economic Zone and be able to access all the work permits they need- and do it legally. 

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would rather have cheaper calls and better service than a politically correct proportion of local staff.

    • Comon cents says:

      It is going to be interesting when the Swedish hiring manager asks the caymanians what their first language is using better English then the English speakers. Being caymanian I am always dismayed with our professional English in the work place. This should be good. The level of education in Sweden comparative to cayman is vast. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Mmmm…I don't think that you are about to get cheaper calls. It is nice to dream though.   

  3. Scotty says:

    When we lived in Cayman, we used LIME and found that service to be a lot better than what we now have in Canada.

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in both countries. I suggest that the problem might be looking at you in the mirror. One can choose wisely in either country and get exceptional service. 

      • Scotty says:

        I have looked in the mirrror and still see bad service from both Rogers and Bell.

  4. JTB says:

    I stopped using lime a long time ago. Dreadful company, dreadful service, no idea whatsoever of customer care. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok Digicel employee.  I got so frustrated with Digicel I actually took the SIM card out of the phone and threw it at the Digicel manager before walking out. Not sure where this concept that Digicel has good Customer Service comes from, but I gave it a try, still waiting for them to respond.

  5. Anonymous says:

    39 new workpermits.

    39 more families depending on social services.

    Lime and Ercisson profits go up.

    Politicians don't care.

    Further destruction of the cayman islands.

     

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let's see what Mr Premier is going to do about this…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I don't care what they do with their staff, I just wish they'd have people answertheir phones who can actually provide assistance…or have people answer their phones at all!

    • Anonymous says:

      or actually focus on the customer and present themselves in a professional manner rather than chewing gum and joking with their co-worker while the customer is standing there waiting…………

  8. Anonymous says:

    DEAD WOOD IS NOT THE TECHS

    LIME is firing but missing the real targets:

    The lack of innovation. 

    The unwillingness to change in general.

    The lack of a sense of urgency to compete.

    The lack of responsiveness to customer needs.

    The lack of a sense of delivering value to the consumer

    The inability to create a corporate vison and supporting mission

    The inability to inspire it's people to do great things and take pride in their accomplishments

    … all these and other faults, in my humble opinion, are NOT the fault of the Technical Teams

    It needs to be understood that the outsourcing may not necessarily be a bad thing for the technical field teams – however, to make LIME what it really should be is a completely separate issue with it's own set of challenges.  I'd much prefer to hear what the new CEO plans to do to substantively change the culture of the company that will result valuable change.  Keep he objectives S.M.A.R.T. and I'll believe LIME is changing for the better. There are a lot of very talented folks there that need to be allowed to succeed. 

    Mr. McCabe – Your Thoughts?

  9. Anonymous says:

    These layoffs are not in the name of business efficiency such as restructuring or whatever you want to call it. These new Ericsson people will be expert at data gathering and electronic surveillance from a law enforcement perspective.

    If Caymanians knew what was going on under their noses, they would choke on their breadfruit. Their elected officials are in on the game and quite frankly have no say in the matter.

    The whole world is under surveillance. It is a sad sign of the times.

     

  10. Knot S Smart says:

    Well…

    I have their internet service and I have run the numbers in my probability machine, and it looks like currently there is a 1% chance of it getting any worse, and a 99% chance that it can get better…

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    Last weekend I was at the customer service and has to wait for 3 hours to finish off a 10 minutes job, can't LIME put some extra guys in there, and don't even get me started on the call centre, one word HORRIBLE!!!

  12. KISS says:

    Lets see how the Work Permit Board responds.  "Too true" when Barbados had this occur their workers were handed over to E due to Unions,same pay and pensions, period!!

    Wwe instead have the almighty expat love affair and would rather see our qualified locals on food stamps instead of working…

    It is our politicians who keep throwing us under the bus and allowing Lime and large LAW firms and BANKS to hire anyone they want.  I feel sooooo sorry for any technical or IT expert locals.  They are constantly thrown aside during the WP approval process and this goes beyond ICTA & CIMA.  This is the Immigration Board NOT DOING THEIR JOBS.

    This hits to the HEART of Tara and Immigration.  Tara, are you even looking at the weekly approvals of work permits?  It is a complete FARCE!  Qualified degreed Caymanians apply and their applications are never seen past HR.

    The NWDA and Tara need to start putting their money where their mouth is….

    • Anonymous says:

      It is shocking how Cayman openly shows distain and hatred toward guests in their country. From the goverment on down, bias and discrimination are not only permitted but encouraged. People immigrate to every country in the world and socially developed countries do not tolerate such discrmination against fellow human beings. It shows how far behind Cayman is behind the rest of the world. For such a religous country, the tone here is appallingly discriminate. It is nothing but a display of ignorance. I can assure you that Caymanians living abroad are not subjected to this cloud of discrimination. I am ashamed for you. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Lime service has constantly gotten worse and their pricing has constantly gotten higher.  I am strongly considering moving over to Digicel. 

    • Anonymous says:

      you think the grass is greener with digicel service. I can tell you after experiencing both that the grass is brown, weed infested, and covered in dog doodoo so watch your step!

      • Anonymous says:

        hope your not interested in using your mobile across the island; their cheap network has many holes, and lets not even start on the crap "internet" service. get what you pay for i guess

  14. Anonymous says:

    I dont understand why Lime would lay off  37 caymanians , put them out of work & go with Ericsson . I think that you 37 Caymanians maybe from all 3 Islands , this is where all 37 of you have to come  TOGETHER & stay TOGETHER and watch Ericsson  and  Immigration, and help the Goverment enforce  what they said monday 2/ 17/2014 that Ericsson MUST hire Caymanian or it could lose its local companies (control) license, and that theres 6 conditions that Goverment has made with Ericsson it hires locals .

  15. Otherview says:

    I know quite a few people who are "laying" themselves off. They have given notice to their employers as to the fact that they have decided to leave the island. Basically they cannot afford to live and work in Cayman.  No wage increases in years, demands for more production, and the cost of living increase makes it impossible. Maybe, back in the day, it was worth living paycheck to paycheck….but not anymore.  They have also had pensions monies stolen, health insurance premiums stolen, pay checks bouncing…..finally, enoughis enough.  The grass IS certianly greener in many other places around the world. More outsourcing coming to a business near you soon. All any company really needs is a CEC registration. With technology they can operate from any beach in the world.

  16. Anonymous says:

    While you're at it…PLEASE do something about that Call Center.

    • KISS says:

      Yesterday I called 411 for the phone number fo the Marriott Hotel on Seven Mile Beach.  5 long minutes later, the call center (Jamaica or St. Lucia?) said they could not find the" Mary Lot Hospital"…. I got a good laugh and politely told the lady that the Mariott Hotel is the largest hotel chain in the world and could she please look again…..

      Bill McCabe since you are outsourcing technical, plerhaps you could ADD some better local customer service?

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden ,   does this mean that  our poor struggling people  will continue to be even more disenfranchised than before?   Is this  the same ole boys game of selling work permits to give

      you guys to waste away?  People you be the judge.  

       

      Same same horse, different  rider.

  17. drivel says:

    What are people complaining about?  At least they can reapply.

  18. Anonymous says:

    LIME's service sucks already. How will reducing staff improve that?

    • Anonymous says:

      you know if you actually read the article you are commenting on, it may actually tell you.

      I know it can take a lot of effort to read past the headline, but try it, it can be very informing

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not reducing staff they are replacing stff by outsourcing the jobs to a company that can do it better. People werer tired of the service they got from the Lime stafff anyway they probabbly brought in on themselves..

  19. Anonymous says:

    Okay NWDA, assume 10 of these made redundant do not go to work for the contractor and are college educated hard working employees that now need to re-train and re-enter the workforce.  What is your PLAN?  Just asking….

    It seems that hard working qualified locals  are always passed over for work permits, but we have NOT heard Tara's push with Linda Evans over this.  Instead we only hear that business as usual and all expat applications are approved without question.

    Soon, you will have hundreds of such Caymanians unemployed and I ask is the cost of a work permit worth it vs social services for a family?

    Tara, Winston, Alva, you are all asleep om the job with NWDA…where is the big push?  

    • Anonymous says:

      Without question? Another myth..mine just renewed and had to jump through hoops of fire, as did my colleagues..wondering if it is actually worth it..its borderline that is for sure.

    • Anonymous says:

      You assume too much. This is LIME you are talking about. Have you interacted with their employees? Hard working? College educated? Not the ones I've had to deal with. Sorry to say.

      • zoom says:

        And if you were so educated you would not make a remark like this……go back under the your ROCK.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hard working, qualified? Thier service sucked..

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry to hear this. Can't be good on anyone  to learn they are out of work and a salary. 

    Here's hoping to a brighter future for all those effected. 

    #strengthinunity

  21. Anonymous says:

    So tis is why my LIME internet was so bad last night, lack of maintainance crew to fix it. 🙂

    • anon says:

      It would be nice to get what we pay for. My downloads speeds from LIME are regularly 1/10th of the 3MB plan I subscribed to. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Not only last night ,but most of the time the internet service is terrible.

      • Anonymous says:

        ill give you that the service was down the other nite , but all the time? sorry buddy , not buying that. i use limes internet service all day every day. i download, browse, stream, game online  and upload to servers(could do with  a lil more upload speed) . its not a perfect technology but impressive as you consider the competition.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree. I'm still waiting 18 months later for Logic to send me a quote for service faster than 2Mb/s at home, apparently they don't have any way of doing it.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was down most of last evening too…terrible service…call Jamaica which took 30 mins to get someone on the phone and she told me she could have someone come out tomorrow but she thought it my be systemwiide because they were flooded with calls.

      Service Sucks!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    If this reduces prices or improves services then fantastic.  I suppose it can hardly make calls more expensive or service worse.

  23. Castor says:

    Out sourcing…… is there anything else to say? The reality of the new economics. Another chunk of the status quo falling away.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Improvement in service? I seriously doubt that will happen as a result of the layoffs.

  25. CYNICAL says:

    Has LIME got some "cash flow" problems? It is noteworthy that in the past year, they have imposed what are effectively credit limits on the amount of monthly postpaid cell phone account charges – and text monthly  reminders when postpaid accounts are due for payment.

    They are vulnerable on postpaid cell phone accounts, unlike the standard landline. If they cut off service for none payment, the account holder can simply go and buy a "prepaid" cellphone from another provider, and suffer no inconvenience. The question of bad debt collection is another issue, but in the meantime the user suffers no loss of communication.

  26. SKEPTICAL says:

    What a hell of an admission – that another company can provide a better service than that which you currently offer. Let's cut the bullshit – it is cheaper to outsource this type of service than to carry the cost of maintaining  your own team. A reason why many international financial companies  outsource the processing of their daily transactions, overnight, to places like India. It looks as though LIME is really starting to hurt, in the face of industry competition.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is usually a correct and brave management decision to accept that outsourcing offers better returns for shareholders.  LIME should be congratulated.  Let's hope Ericsson can deliver without being too weighed down by the costs of local political interference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unlike the other companies you mention they are not outsourcing to places like India. It just wasn't worth it to them to maintain thier own team when thier team sucked..

  27. Anonymous says:

    Bout time we got some competition!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Great headline CNS! How about Cayman getting world class telecommunications from leading global telecommunications company…oh never mind that title is too long…

  29. Anonymous says:

    Maybe now we can get better Service!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Must hire Caymanians? Lime wanted them gone, what makes anyone think Ericsson will? This is precisely the kind of government interference in the work place that drives jobs offshore or makes companies leave. How about must hire people with the right skills, work ethic and attitude ? That's what makes business tick, not orders on who to employ. Having said that, if it turns out to be Caymanians who do have those qualities, brilliant for Ericsson, no work permit fees.

  31. Turtle Stew says:

    OMG time for me to move.  I don't see how service is going to improve.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Is Ericsson going to take over the call centre and train their staff so that they can answer basic questions? If not, I don't see how this will improve customer service.

     

    I for one will be terminating all of my non-essential LIME services.

  33. Anonymous says:

    "…to ensure our people are hired,” wait and see, the proof will be in the pudding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too bad the old boys of the former Staff Association of CandW are no longer around. They wouldnt have stood for this type of crap.

      The ICTA is to blame for all of this happening, there are absolutey no standards available or being enforced fo the telecommunications sector which was built by Caymanians. Take a look at certain sites which resembles the third world now.

      The network and plant will soon look like other places in the Caribbean where there is no local pride in having a neat and tidy installation, which Caymanians used to be proud of.

      Here goes one of the last sectors which built Cayman, by Caymanians. Its a crying shame.

       

  34. Anonymous says:

    82 out of 91 lime employees are caymanian?????……..

    it all makes sense now……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  35. Anonymous says:

    Well, Government is planning to appoint 26 new firemen that we don't need so maybe they could take these jobs.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Just hope that they will keep on one of the best operators in the Cayman Islands who is no stranger to us and so courteous and efficient to each and everyone. She needs no introduction our beautiful Lana Ebanks. Hope she dont mind the compliment. Improvement needs to be with  the operators in Ja  who is not familiar with Cayman nor our accent.

    • KISS says:

      Hear, hear.  Miss Lana is not technical so not going anywhere. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I couldn't agree with you more.  Lana is absolutely wonderful. She and Erik McField are the main reasons I have remained a LIME customer.  Both are fantastic staff members whose worth I hope that organsation will recognise and keep.  If they go I go!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I will be terminating all of my nonessential LIME services.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Everything is moving into the cloud.

  39. Anonymous says:

    So Immigration / Work Permit Board will turn down all work permits for positions held by former LIME employees (providing of course that the LIME employees re-applied) when reviewing the Ericsson applications, correct?

    LIME seem be laying of everyone these days.

    Can someone provide the ratio of local / expat employees?

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you even bother to read the article the answer to your question in there..

  40. Anonymous says:

    LIME could never try this $hit in Barbados I know that.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see you are not keeping up with the happenings around the Caribbean.

    • Anonymous says:

      There used to be a strong staff association at CandW until about 15  or so years ago!

      This would not have happened under the leadership of the stalwarts back in the day, who were not afraid to deal with the management.

      It's time for proper Unions in Cayman.

       

    • Anonymous says:



      16:10 It could only be Cayman that all this sh..t can happen. We had some of the best telephone operators working at Cable and wireless. Whenever you called for assistance you were answered by Ms Christine and others so courteous and always able to give you the best assistance. Not like now a day when they tell you that there is no listing for so many prominent people and establishments. Then after spelling the name for them they want you to pronounce the name forthem as well. I dont even bother to call any more as all I do is to waste my minutes. Sometimes after hearing that there is no number bfor certain names and if you call back and get another operator you might be lucky to get the number. I often ask them if they are sure that they went to school. Our operators should be from GRAND CAYMAN. Can you imagine when a tourist call them for information. Also they like to so argue with you about how certain names are pronounced. For eg an H is pronounced like an E. I say please Mr minister responsible please see that out of this new package that we have our phones answered in Cayman. This I think happened during Mr Piersons reign. Not to blame him as he was one of my favourites but it was pulled right over his head. Poor Lana whom I think is the Receptionist does all the work that they cannot do. Thank God for her.

    • Anonymous says:

      Um, not exactly, LIME already did this in Barbados some time back:  http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/lime-severs-200/ 

  41. Anonymous says:

    Disgusting that more Caymanians will be laid off and government not doing a thing to help us they help everybody else

    • Comoncents says:

      You can thank the Government for the dismal job prospects and lay off. Protectionism never helps to build an economy. You can also thank them for decades of poor educational standards. Caymans economy is like a coiled spring that wants to take off. But government inference continues to hold it down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the problem is you depending on a government to take care of you when you should have that covered by now.  Like all the rest of us.  Time to cut the cord man and get some self respect.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I hope the PPM have the courage to direct the BSPB and WP board to not issue temporary or full work permits to the new group Ericsson's because these jobs can be done by the 39 unemployed former LIME employees and other Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well they obviously were not doing the job well. this si the problem with forcing empoyees on businesses.. They did a sorry job cuase Lime to have to outsource to get rid of them..

  43. Anonymous says:

    Over to you, Ezzard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! Come on Ezzard, make a big noise then do nothing! Why is that ball of hot air even there?

    • WillYaListen! says:

      What on earth would he be asked to do? He interferes with enough already – to no noticeable effect. 

  44. Anonymous says:

    There is a wave of layoffs coming down the pipeline in the financial sector as well. Talking hundres  of lay offs here – not dozens. Cayman wake up and ask more of your govt. – PPM . They know about these pending layoffs because the regulator ( CIMA) has been told who in turn has informed the govt. Yet they talk of 3.2% raise to Civil services.

    Cayman as a place of doing business has suffered huge setbacks over the last 2 years as aresult of PPM and UDP mishandling . Businesses are closing beacuse of high costs. Almost all businesses are non- profitable including the financial ones – due to costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      While people are thinking of closing whole departments and shifting them away, Tara runs around making keeping business in Cayman harder and harder.

  45. james Pouchie says:

    And so it begins, turbulent times ahead for Cayman…this is very sad news

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, the outsourcing trend "began" a while ago, but it's certainly picking up steam with the new PPM paradigm of turning down work permit applications. I know of one key position where a work permit was turned down because they said a Caymanian could do the job, so the company simply made the position redundant here in Cayman and now employs THE VERY SAME person to do THE VERY SAME job overseas. No work permit, no work permit fee, no pensions payments, no local insurance, less administration costs and the person gets the same salary, but lives in a place with a lower cost of living. The employee is happy, the employer is happy,the clients are happy, but alas, Cayman suffers. And, with technology the way it is, there will be moe and more of this happening. Employers will not be forced to hire people who aren't qualified to do the job, and they won't be forced to hire people with bad attitudes just because they are Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      What bothers me alot is those people working in the Tourist Industry. Most of them dont care a rip and misinforms the tourist. They complain about Cayman instead of trying to be helpful Even when some of them are fired they complain to the poor tourist and even tell them that they are going to sue the Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so grieved over how Politicians sat on their fat bottoms and made this all happen A place so small was easy to handle and all for the power and almighty dollar. Take the Country back now if you like. It is too late my friends. It will only continue to get worst. Tourists are asking "Where are the Caymanians, where are the Caymanians ", as they dont see them. This is so true.