St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Cable, provider of television channels, VOIP, telephone and internet services is at the crossroads. It's facing expensive compulsory licensing fees for US companies like HBO, technological advances and increased broadband access for consumers that have enabled stronger competition from streaming services, and its workers are also demanding a pay increase.
The more than fifty workers at The Cable, after some took industrial action, were told to wait until the end of March 2017 for a clear response to their appeal for a salary increase, after meetings with the Board of Directors and Attorney General Vincent Byron.
Some Cable workers have claimed they had no salary increase for close to nine years.
All workers received a double salary in December 2016.
The government owns 69 percent of the company.
Under the Team Unity Administration, the number of Board Directors have increased from nine to twelve, and the Directors voted to increase their fees of $800 by fifty percent sometime in November 2016 retroactive to June last year, according to reports reaching WINN FM 98.9.
They are also paid a $100 for attending committee meetings.
A staff member, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WINN Thursday (Feb 23) that the board is very involved in the running of the company and it’s the best performance by Directors seen so far.
WINN understands that the Cable's broadband internet service is its most lucrative offer and it's television operations which are running on customer rates established in 1994.
Governments have refused to allow an increase in charges for local customers.
The government acquired majority shares in The Cable in 1990 after it was established 1983 by a group of US investors including current manager Bill Ewing.
WINN understands that Mr. Ewing is offering to sell his 30 percent shares to government and Digicel is also in the market with an offer to acquire the company.
Allegations that the television operations have been poorly managed have been met with complaints that the company is being forced to meet 2017 expenses with 1994 rates.