|Cabrera: End retrenchment |
SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, August 12 2017
BUSINESSES must stop retrenching workers if they want labour to return to the negotiating table of tripartism, urged Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (Bigwu) head Vincent Cabrera, at a news briefing at his Barataria office yesterday.
“How could we talk of a relationship when you are horning me,” he said in a stiff message to businesses that are laying off workers.
He urged a moratorium on Government’s intended retrenchment of workers at the Tourism Development Company.
“If trust is being damaged it will hurt the relationship.” Cabrera said the Government’s intended liquidation of Clico/CL Financial will threaten the jobs of workers at subsidiaries such as Home Construction Limited and Tru Value Supermarket.
He complained that so far his requests to meet Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus have proven fruitless.
Saying that in past times, unions would react to job-losses by merely getting their workers a little retrenchment money, Cabrera threatened, “Now, we are going to bite you and boycott you. When you’re hardened, you have to feel!” He was particularly biting towards conglomerate ANSA Mc Al whom he accused of being unpatriotic for sending their profits abroad.
That company was accused of buying a US$1 million Guyanese radio station and investing in a Florida beer company while sending home workers in TT.
Cabrera alleged that the ongoing retrenchment of 49 workers at Guardian Media Limited (GML) was a “most unusual exercise” that included inducements to take early retirement.
“These workers are being retrenched not because the employer is losing money but simply due to the introduction of new technology.” He alleged that GML had wrongly claimed their print business was losing money, as he claimed GML’s profits from 2011 to 2015 ranged from $44 million to $48 million, while Ansa Mc Al’s profits ranged from $904 million to $1.163 billion.
“In the case of GML, we are asking how can a business enterprise which had experienced such brilliant sustained revenue and profit suddenly find itself in the red? “Does it have anything to do with the siphoning off of earnings from the print media to establish a division called the Big Bosard Company? Does it have anything to do with the purchase of a radio station in Guyana for $1 million? How could GML be losing money when it has broadcasting rights to the CPL and the International Soca Monarch,” Cabrera asked.
He backed OWTU leader Ancel Roget’s call for a boycott of elite-run businesses.
He said, “If you don’t retrench, we won’t boycott. ANSA Mc Al companies are prime candidates for a boycott.” He accused the conglomerate of having great wealth but poor social responsibility.