VimpelCom’s Zimbabwe Unit to Impose Pay Cuts to Reduce Costs

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Telecel Zimbabwe Ltd., a unit of wireless provider VimpelCom Ltd., asked staff to take a wage cut or work a shorter week in an effort to reduce employee costs by 25 percent and shore up finances.

Workers at the company, operated by VimpelCom’s Cairo-based unit Global Telecom Holdings SAE, can choose between a range of options including a pay reduction of 20 percent, deferment of 30 percent of their salary until the end of 2016, and working a four-day week, according to a letter to staff seen by Bloomberg and verified by the company.

“We are looking at various options, but nothing has been finalized as yet,” Chief Executive Officer Angeline Vere said by phone. “We discussed with workers on the various options we are looking at to make the business viable.”

Telecel Zimbabwe had its operating license canceled by the southern African country’s regulator in April, only for the ruling to be suspended by the High Court in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, the following month. The company is the second-largest mobile-phone provider in Zimbabwe after Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd. with more than 2.5 million active subscribers, according to its website.

Other offers to employees include taking about 20 percent of their pay in airtime and working shifts to reduce their monthly wage package, according to the letter.