RIL Asks Field En­gi­neers In­volved in Jio Roll­out to Leave

The Economic Times - - Companies - Kalyan.Par­bat@ times­group.com

Kolkata: Re­liance In­dus­tries has let go of at least half the 1,600-odd con­tracted field en­gi­neer­ing of­fi­cers in­volved in rolling out telecom arm Jio’s pan-In­dia 4G net­work, say­ing their work is over. But quite a few of the af­fected are ap­proach­ing var­i­ous fora, in­clud­ing the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, against the com­pany’s move of pre­ma­ture ter­mi­na­tion of con­tracts.

These field en­gi­neers are all exmem­bers of In­dia’s armed forces who had been hired by a whol­ly­owned RIL unit, Strate­gic Man­power So­lu­tions (SMSL), on a two-year con­tract for work at RIL’s telecom ven­ture, Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm which is set to roll out its 4G ser­vices. “We have build & op­er­ate jobs at Jio. For ‘build’ as­sign­ments, peo­ple are em­ployed on a fixed-term ba­sis. As the (4G) net­work work gets com­pleted, peo­ple are re­leased as per the terms and con­di­tions,” said a Re­liance Jio spokesper­son in a writ­ten re­sponse to ET’s queries.

A per­son close to the com­pany said that a “size­able” num­ber of SMSL field en­gi­neers in­volved in the Jio 4G roll­out have been told to leave af­ter putting in 12-to-20 months in mar­kets such as Delhi, Bhopal, Luc­know and Nag­pur, and as lit­tle as six months in Kolkata, well be­fore their two-year con­tract term as the Jio net­work build-out in these re­gions was con­cluded ahead of sched­ule.

Af­fected en­gi­neers be­lieve they have been wronged, with some re­fus­ing to sign their pre­ma­ture ter­mi­na­tion letters. “We have ap­proached home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh as we feel cheated, given the way in which our con­tracts have been pre­ma­turely ter­mi­nated by SMSL, es­pe­cially when Jio hasn’t even launched its 4G net­work com­mer­cially any­where,” said OP Singh, an ex-army veteran in sig­nal­ing op­er­a­tions.

Af­fected en­gi­neers be­lieve they have been wronged, with some re­fus­ing to sign their pre­ma­ture ter­mi­na­tion letters

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