Accenture: respect workers' rights in Bangladesh (press release)
As earlier reported here, Accenture announced in July 2017 that it will leave the Bangladeshi market by the end of November this year and lay off all of its 556 staff. The Accenture Employees Union, Bangladesh (AEUB) has been in negotiations with Accenture since to ensure fair compensation for all employees, but the company has refused to offer adequate awards.
On 16 November, AEUB issued the following statement. UNI ICTS calls on Accenture to do right by its employees in Bangladesh, and negotiate in good faith with AEUB so that a constructive solution can be found.
Dear Respected Journalists,
Greetings from Accenture Employees Union, Bangladesh (Reg.: B-2166).
We are thankful to you for your boldness and cooperation for ensuring labor rights and benefits over the world with your writings and news coverage. May be you are already aware about the fact that Accenture Communication and Infrastructure Solution Ltd. (ACISL), a joint venture company of Accenture and Grameenphone Ltd. (Business unit of Telenor), has suddenly declared shut down its operation in Bangladesh from 30th November, 2017 due to the strategical conflict between these two multinationals.
On 17th July afternoon ACISL management declared shut down information to the all employees through a web cast and terminated all the 560 employees of ACISL by sending e-mail notice at midnight 02:00AM on 18th July without showing any cause. Accenture Employees Union, Bangladesh (AEUB) with all employees raised voices and protested against the corporate genocide by these two multinationals Accenture and Telenor. UNIBLC Bangladesh liaison office arranged a press conference on 28th July’17 in the supportive of the victimized employees of Accenture Bangladesh and raised the issue to the respective authorities of Bangladesh government. Just after the declaration of shut down Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) invited management to start discussion on compensation packages and restoration of these mistreated employees in the very challenging job market of Bangladesh, where the opportunities are very limited. But the bilateral discussion became unsuccessful due the rigidness and arrogant attitude of ACISL management representatives. They even threaten CBA of not giving any compensation to employees and wind up the business from Bangladesh! In this situation, labor ministry of Bangladesh has taken initiatives to continue the discussion for the logical compensation for the terminated employees. CBA wondering this discussion will also not successful as management is not very concerned to compensate employees properly.
Dear Friends, for your information, in 2010, Grameenphone Ltd., a Business Unit of Telenor Group, created Grameenphone IT Ltd. company on the commitment to bring historical changes in ICT industry of Bangladesh with 250 employees of Grameenphone IT department. That time those employees were deprived from any transitional benefits by management rather forced them to join in new IT Company. In 2013, Grameenphone Ltd. again sold 51% share to the Accenture and changed the name of the company Accenture Communication and Infrastructure Solution Ltd. (ACISL). Again management deprived the employees from any transitional benefits or compensations. Rather after acquiring by Accenture, ACISL management started to curtail existing employment benefits even.
Accenture and Telenor had service agreements of million dollars and under these agreements most of the services have been delivered by ACISL employees from Dhaka. Telenor and Grameenphone Ltd. also praised about the services delivered by ACISL employees in their communication. But unfortunately ACISL management always tried to establish the company as unprofitable. Also Grameenphone Ltd., Telenor and Accenture have engaged in conflict of interest regarding the pricing of services, transparency and blaming each other’s. Both the parties went even to court for the contractual disputes.
Accenture and Telenor, the two giant multinationals doing business over the world who demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility, is responsible for the current genocide to the ACISL employees of Bangladesh by bringing the sudden devastations in their family and social life without any cause of employee engagements rather only of their profit maximizing intentions and management conflict. Telenor as well as Grameenphone Ltd. offer Voluntary Retirement for employees in Bangladesh with maximum 70 months basic salary as a compensation other than the regular Provident Fund- Gratuity Fund and there are many more references in Bangladesh where employees are compensated with strong care so that they can absorb the shock of unemployment with their families. But unfortunately ACISL management i.e. Accenture and Telenor both together offer only 30months basic pay as compensation to the employees who have to suffer for management mistakes and conflicts! Accenture Employees Union, Bangladesh as well as CBA denied this compensation package and asked to give at least 60 months basic pay to all employees along with other legal benefits.
In such situation, ACISL employees under the leadership of Accenture Employees Union, Bangladesh demonstrating with human chain, press conferences and dialogues for their proper compensations from these two multinationals Accenture and Telenor. We also seeking your cooperation to strengthen our voice to the world community by writing in the newspaper, TV channels, blogs, websites or any other medium to stop such “Corporate Genocide” by these so called socially responsible multinationals Accenture and Telenor.