Vietnam mobile operator sacks employees in resurrection effort

TN News

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Mobile phone operator S-Fone has sacked all its employees as part of a turnaround plan, but reportedly failed to pay their salaries.

News website VietNamNet quoted a source at Saigon Post and Telecommunication Corporation (Saigon Postel), which owns S-Fone, as saying it would change from a telecom operator to an information and telecom company.

"The decision was agreed upon by Saigon Postel and the company's labor union. I'm not authorized to say if the new company will take back all the old employees," the source said.

Many S-Fone stores have been closed while calls to its top executives did not go through since the phone numbers "do not exist."

The sacking was announced June 11, with the employees promised earlier that they would get paid by then.

But as of July 19, it owes VND43 billion (more than US$2 millon) to around 500 workers.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, S-Fone had more than 1.8 million active subscribers as of the end of 2010.

The company was formed by Korea's SK Telecom and Saigon Postel in 2001 under a business cooperation contract.

Saigon Postel announced plans to sell shares in November 2010 after the Korean partner pulled out.

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