Gov’t blindsided by decision of Troy Resources to fire over 300 employees
The Government says it had no idea that Troy Resources Limited would terminate the services of 375 workers who were laid off for the last six weeks.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman told the Department of Public Information Tuesday that the administration is “disappointed” with the decision taken by the company’s board and that Cabinet has since been briefed on the latest development.
“We’re most disappointed, I have to say. I don’t believe we were given sufficient notice of this action. Both ministers did engage the company’s management last week and none of us had a sense that this was going to happen….we are disappointed to say the least.”
The Australian mining company ceased operations in early October following the death of Ryan Taylor, a geologist, at its Hicks site on October 8, which then resulted in a cease work order being issued by the Minister with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott.
The order was subsequently rescinded by Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally after it was agreed that Troy Resources will improve working conditions at its Kairouni, Region Seven operations.
“The action taken by the company is precipitous. We believe that every door has been opened for them to resume operations in a shorter time as possible. We made that possible for them and so we will be engaging the company about early restarting and as well as of course bringing all of these workers back on,” Minister Trotman said Tuesday.
He explained that a Ministerial committee will again reach out to Troy Resources.
“This is not the time of the year we should see workers going home. They have homes, there’s Christmas. Cabinet has asked that we have a ministerial subcommittee that will engage this company and all the others that may be having issues at this point in time.”
In a memo seen by the News Room Monday, Chief Executive Officer Ken Nilsson said the Board of Directors had made a decision to terminate the services of all employees who were laid off.
“This decision was made with reluctance and will nevertheless assist employees by providing a termination payout. It is expected that Troy will go back to rehiring employees as needed for a start-up in the near future and Troy hopes most current employees will be available and willing to return to work,” the memo stated.
The company employed a total of 512 staff. Only 137 are being retained. Those persons are currently conducting exploration work, repairs to the processing plant and security duties.
Despite all clearance, it was not able to restart its operations due to financial issues, Nilsson told the media during a tour of its facilities last Thursday.
Nilsson said the return to profitability is paramount for the longer-term success and the lack of income over the last 6 weeks has clearly damaged the company.
He noted that the decision to lay off the workers was triggered by the 6-week deadline for it to restart operations. The company operates under a system which allows it to only put persons on hold for six weeks.
The company said the severance pay-out is to be made no later than this Friday, November 22, 2019. Troy Resources Limited began operating in Guyana in 2015 in Region Seven.