PM wants takeover explanation for public
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has urged the management of Cable & Wireless Communications and Columbus International Inc. to explain their proposed merger to customers and do what is in the best interest of the public.
He offered the suggestion recently as he met with the Chief Executive Officer of C&W Philip Bentley, Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Communications Brendan Paddick, and Head of Government Relations at C&W Chris Dehring, at Government Headquarters.
Stuart said he had met with the management of both companies separately some weeks ago, and was following very closely what had transpired as a result of the plan by C&W, which operates in the Caribbean as LIME, to takeover Columbus, parent company of rival Flow.
The Prime Minister pointed out that in previous years, there were traumatic changes at C&W that were not properly explained that negatively affected the employees and customers. As a result, he advised the companies, customer confidence could not be restored by promises alone, but by an improved quality of service and an introduction of a range of services far superior to what was offered before.
He said the telecommunications companies could count on Government’s cooperation if the intention was to bring a higher level of service to customers in Barbados.
According to him, Government’s interest was to ensure that there was healthy competition in Barbados, that the customers were able to enjoy a high level of satisfaction, and that the employees were treated fairly and respectfully.
Bentley gave the assurance that the proposed merger would provide customers with improved service and vibrant competition, as well as an opportunity to develop their employees. He insisted that they would “do the right thing” in Barbados.
Paddick said Columbus came to the Caribbean to invest and change it, not dominate the region. He stressed that the company had a people-centred approach, was committed to Barbados, and had already invested millions of dollars here.
Dehring added that the merger would be positive for the region, as it would be left with two strong competitors.