Cable & Wireless Panama workers union calls for answers on rumoured stake sale by state

30 May 2012

Employees at Cable & Wireless Panama (C&WP) have reportedly called on the government to confirm any plans to sell off its stake in the telco, according to Prensa Latina. The report says that the general secretary of the telco’s workers union, Denia De Powell, has rejected rumoured plans for the sale of the state’s 49% holding in C&WP, with the representative claiming that such a move could lead to staff cuts at the telco. It is understood that the union has also not ruled out protests against a sale, should it be confirmed that the government is planning such a move.

In March 2012, as reported by CommsUpdate, it was claimed by local press that the Panamanian government was mulling the sale of part of its 49% stake in the former monopoly fixed line provider. Such a sale is thought to be under consideration as part of wider plans by the government to divest stakes in a number of public-private companies with a view to using any funds raised to finance infrastructure projects, including improvements in the country’s drinking water system. Panama’s economy and finance minister, Frank De Lima, was cited at the time as saying that the government could sell off 5% of its 49% stake in C&WP, while the minister reportedly noted that Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), which owns the other 51% stake in the Panamanian telco, would have the first option to purchase the holding should it be put up for sale.