RIL Asks Field Engineers Involved in Jio Rollout to Leave
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