300 GuyOil workers on sit-in after told no bonus, wage increase
Some 300 workers employed with the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil) are currently on a “sit-in” after they were informed by the company that they will not be receiving a bonus or wage increase this year.
The workers are being represented by the Clerical and Commercial Workers’ Union (CCWU) who have been in negotiations with the company since July for an increase in wages and bonuses.
“It is not a strike, it’s an industrial action. They came to work and they down tools, it’s a sit in,” President of CCWU, Sherwood Clarke, told the News Room on Wednesday.
How long the industrial action will last is unknown.
GuyOil’s new General Manager, Trevor Bassoo, told the News Room that the matter is in the hands of the Chief Labour Officer.
The Union President said they are open for engagement and are also asking the Board to come to the table and bargain with the union and resolve this issue.
“We were in negotiation since July 2020 and we agreed to all the fringe benefits. The proposal was on the table for an 8 percent appraisal system or 5 percent across the board and the December, 18, the Union was called in and told that there will be zero percent and zero bonuses,” Clarke explained.
According the Clarke, the company is claiming that due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have some setbacks financially.
“Based on the financial records of the Guyana Oil Company, they declared a profit of $2.9B and they have a very healthy reserve so I don’t understand the justification and rationale of the claim,” Clarke stated.
Meanwhile, after the change in government and new board of directors that was installed held an extraordinary meeting in September and discussed these matters.
According to Clarke, the Board decided that they would use the 8 percent appraisal system and bonus would be across the board for employees.
“The 8 percent appraisal did not come out of the sky; it comes out of the company fiscal budget that they would pay 8 percent whether they used it across the board or appraisal,” Clarke said.