Manufacturing employees leaving for work in oil and gas industry
Local manufacturers are facing the heat for higher remuneration amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain setbacks.
On Thursday, Vice President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Ramsay Ali told the News Room that higher salaries in the oil and gas sector have resulted in local manufacturing companies losing their trained and long-serving staff.
Ali explained that manufacturing companies cannot compete with these salaries due to internal challenges. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected these companies which are also grappling with supply chain setbacks.
“If you go to the regular manufacturer in Guyana, they will tell you that we are losing our people to oil and gas. People you have trained for many, many years are now moving. Of course, the reason is salary remuneration so we have got to up our game but then it comes back to the cost, that keeps increasing our cost and we still have to remain competitive because we’ve got imports coming into the country,” Ali explained to the News Room during an interview.
These companies are left at a disadvantage because they cannot afford to purchase materials, cover costs and increase salaries.
Ali added that companies will have to increase their salary scales in order to retain their staff but noted that those leaving are the ones qualified in the technical field.
He said even though the companies have invested millions of dollars to train these employees, they are still leaving for remuneration packages that are 20-40 per cent more than they are currently paid.
He further said it is obvious that salaries need to be increased but he reminded that companies were hit with higher shipment and fuel costs and raw materials costs have also increased.
“Let’s say it used to be $35,000 for a container of goods’ shipping cost, it’s now $114,000. So you know you have to add that cost onto your products and raw materials. You also have to remain competitive because goods are always coming in here from different agencies.”
The GMSA offers employees training and has encouraged its member companies to seek out training options.