After blogging about the Safaricom call-centre staff retired and sacked because they developed ENT problems, I got more from some current employees at Safaricom. I received over 13 emails with all manner of complaints. The one which stood out is this one.
I joined Safaricom in 2009 as customer care representative. We had been promised confirmation once we are through with 3 months probation which was later pushed to six and before we knew it we were given the bad news. We will be signing contracts every six months which is performance based. We later found out the idea of not to confirm us was a cost cutting strategy as you will find out later.
Employment in Kenya is hard to come by so we decided to just accept the conditions. I want us to compare a permanent agent and contract one. Permanent agents earns a basic salary of between Ksh 55,000 and Ksh 60,000. We, the contract ones get 40,200. We are given Ksh 1,000 airtime while permanent get Ksh 3,000 every month. The medical cover we have as contract is Ksh 60,000 and in patient is Ksh 150,0000 per year which does not cover any member of our family while the permanent staff is Ksh 250,000 for out-patient and in-patient is 1.5 million. This basically means if I get sick it’s ok I go to Nairobi hospital but if its my kid I take him to a city council hospital. No dental or optical for contract staff. And we are all agents doing the same job.
As contract staff, you cannot move to any other department regardless of how qualified you are. That basically means you stagnate there answering calls for ever. In the call center, people do swap shifts but as a contract staff you cannot swap with a permanent staff. Why? Mind you we are doing the same job. They refused to have contacts staff join the pension scheme. So they waste you for 2 or 3 years, then they dismiss you with nothing. Remember your contact is 6 months making it very hard to even access loans. Basically contract staff are treated like shit because getting rid of them is like a finger snap. Basically contract staff live like paupers working for blue chip company.
Now, that aside they have now started another very bad and immoral practice. They know it’s illegal to employee someone on renewable contract basis for more than one year. So they are now targeting older contract staff. One minor mistake and your contact is revoked. You can imagine being on contacts since 2009 and in 2013 you are dismissed just like that. You have basically wasted your 4-years.
What do you think Alai. Is this proper?
I must say that Safaricom is really doing lots of things wrong. The sad fact is that the CEO and top directors would rather appear in music videos and pop champagne. Nobody want to face the reality and help these young people.