Forty persons who worked at the Enmore sugar packaging plant will be trained and hired by investors who will take over the plant and convert it into a machine shop with an adjacent pipe yard, it was announced Friday. The venture will eventually need some 500 workers.
Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha met with the workers at the packaging plant on Friday and assured them that they will be “absorbed” by the new company, GK+B – a joint-venture between Guysons Engineering and U.S owned K.B Industries Inc.
“Workers who are employed will be absorbed by the new company, so your job will be secured … you will not lose employment, you will not lose earnings,” Mustapha said.
The Agriculture Minister disclosed that the company will be taking over the facility by February month end. He noted that the employees will be paid their salary up to February, and will be given an additional two months’ salary to assist them while the facility is being converted.
Since the company will be providing new services, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GK+B, Faizal Khan, who was also at the meeting, assured the workers that training will be provided for them to aid with transition.
Speaking to the News Room, employees expressed satisfaction with the move which secures their jobs, and also allows them to move on from the sugar industry and into the oil and gas sector.
“I feel real good that we’re transferring from one job into a next job,” Kenneth Downer, a sugar bagger at the facility said, noting that he is open to positioning himself into any technical field.
Ronda Gittens said that she was of the opinion that she would have lost her job due to a series of miscommunication. However, she was grateful that the agriculture minister took the time to visit the facility and explain the next steps.
“It’s a transition, we are going to be transitioning from sugar into oil and gas and that’s something I’m looking forward to working on and the training that I will be getting I will be grateful for it,” Gittens said.
Meanwhile, Mukesh Gokul said that he is happy to have the opportunity to “expand” his mind by being involved in the new oil and gas industry through the opportunity that is presented.
The Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) on Friday issued a statement noting that they have engaged GUYSUCO on the issue of employment of the workers at the packaging facility.