BAMC to cut 46

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page - By SHERIA BRATHWAITE she­riabrath­[email protected]­tion­news.com @she­ri­a_­na­tionbb

ABOUT 46 SU­GAR WORK­ERS are be­ing cut from the Bar­ba­dos Agri­cul­tural Man­age­ment Com­pany (BAMC).

They are the lat­est ca­su­al­ties un­der the Bar­ba­dos Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery and Trans­for­ma­tion pro­gramme.

Yes­ter­day the Bar­ba­dos Work­ers’ Union (BWU) and the BAMC reached an agree­ment re­gard­ing the num­ber of work­ers to be laid off from the or­gan­i­sa­tion, and also thrashed out other out­stand­ing is­sues.

Af­ter a near two-hour meet­ing, BWU deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary Dwaine Paul said that num­ber did not in­clude those who ac­cepted sep­a­ra­tion pack­ages. He added the union was sat­is­fied with the meet­ing’s out­come.

BAMC gen­eral man­ager Les­lie

Par­ris said: “The num­bers were dis­cussed in de­tail with the union and will be fur­ther di­vulged fol­low­ing the brief­ing notes. We are talk­ing ap­prox­i­mately 42 to 46 per­sons cov­er­ing a num­ber of ar­eas of the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions.”

Me­chan­ics to driv­ers

He said from me­chan­ics to driv­ers would be let go, as well as sup­port staff who would no longer be re­quired. He added that field em­ploy­ees who worked daily dur­ing the har­vest sea­son would not be laid off.

Par­ris also spoke about this year’s su­gar har­vest pro­jec­tions, say­ing the BAMC was an­tic­i­pat­ing that about 146 000 tonnes of su­gar cane would be de­liv­ered to Port­vale Fac­tory, with 11 000 tonnes or more of su­gar pro­duced. He added that those fig­ures would be re­vised as the date for the start of the har­vest drew nearer.

He did not dis­close the start date, how­ever.

“We ex­pect to start steam tri­als on the 21st of Fe­bru­ary and the crop shortly there­after. We would not want to go too far into the fol­low­ing month be­fore start­ing the crop as this would sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact the fu­ture pro­duc­tion of cane.”

Par­ris dis­missed claims that Port­vale was not fit for op­er­a­tion, say­ing that based on re­ports from the man­ager, the plant was 84 per cent ready.

Fac­tory man­ager Raphael O’neal is no longer with the com­pany. Par­ris said he was a con­trac­tual worker and as part of the re­trench­ment pro­gramme, his con­tract was not re­newed.

Trinida­dian-born O’neal spent five years at the com­pany af­ter tak­ing over from John Good­man, who has been there for 20 years.

The new man­ager is Michael Arm­strong, who acted in the po­si­tion for four years and has worked at the fac­tory for over a decade.

Par­ris said new de­vel­op­ments would soon be tak­ing place at the Blow­ers, St James fac­tory, ex­plain­ing that op­er­a­tions would be ex­panded, new equip­ment bought and the plant pow­ered by re­new­able en­ergy. He did not dis­close the start­ing date of the pro­ject or the cost.

(Pic­ture by Len­nox Devon­ish.)

BWU deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary Dwaine Paul (left) and su­gar work­ers mak­ing their way to the meet­ing yes­ter­day.

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