All of the country of Mauritania was left without internet access for two days, and nine other African nations were affected when the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable was severed on March 30.
Per media reports, the cable broke near the Mauritanian capital of Noukachott. A trawler is believed to have severed the line. Mauritania, which has a population of 4.5 million people, relies entirely on ACE for internet access. The ACE system, 10,500 miles long, stretches from France to South Africa, providing an internet connection to 22 countries, most of Africa’s west coast. A large part of the west of the continent was affected by outages.
A spokesman for Orange, which heads the consortium that manages ACE, tweeted a picture of the severed cable taken by workers on a maintenance vessel sent to repair it. Jean-Luc Vuillemin said a trawler raising the cable
off the seabed and slicing through it was the “likely cause.”
Southwire announced that the company will reinvest approximately $9 million dollars back into the lives, and pockets, of its employees, joining a growing list of companies that have made similar moves as a result of recent tax reform.
A press release said that in addition to global, one-time employee bonuses, the company is expanding its parental leave policy and taking steps to strengthen its commitment to education, skilled trade development, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and diversity in the workplace.
Full-time U.S. employees, with the exception of executives and upper management, will each receive a $1,000 bonus, while full-time employees outside the U.S. will get a bonus of $250 or the international equivalent. These investments will impact the majority of Southwire’s nearly 7,500 employees.
“Building organizational capability is one of the key components of our company’s strategy, and it is vital that we make the right decisions as we continually enhance Southwire’s great culture,” said Southwire President and CEO Rich Stinson. “We’re off to a good start in 2018, and I am pleased to be able to share this benefit, both monetarily and through the extension of new and existing programs and partnerships, with the Southwire family.”
The release said that Southwire will also expand its parental leave policy to assist eligible parents. “At Southwire, our desire is for all employees to focus on ‘The Whole You,’ a concept which goes beyond standard benefits and provides access to resources that touch many aspects of an employee’s life,” said Kathleen Edge, EVP of Human Resources. “In doing so, we must offer programs and total rewards like these that reflect this commitment.”
Southwire will also offer a bridge scholarship program for eligible hourly employees seeking to further their education through a two-year degree, four-year degree or technical certification. There also are plans are in the works “to make strong investments into new and existing industry partnership” The purpose of these investments is to accelerate the attraction of diverse candidates into Southwire’s manufacturing and STEM careers. More information on these new programs will be available soon.
“As we continue to grow, we’re also looking at significant modernization and safety improvement efforts into our manufacturing and distribution facilities,” said Stinson. “Our goal is to be a generationally sustainable business for the next century and beyond, and to get there, we must make considerations and investments like these. It is an exciting time to be part of Southwire!”