The Government of Grenada has advised the management of the Grenada Gravel Concrete and Emulsion Production Corporation to initiate a meeting with representatives of Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), which represents workers there.
Workers at the corporation downed tools on Thursday to demand the payment of the annual profit-sharing.
According to the collective bargaining agreement between the corporation and TAWU, permanent employees are expected to benefit from 15% of the company’s annual pre-tax profits while contract staff receive one month’s salary.
The corporation did in fact record a profit during 2019, the year on which this year’s profit sharing will be based. However, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of business operations during the period of lockdown, the company faced a significant reduction in income, while at the same time, continuing to pay workers throughout the period of inactivity.
Additionally, millions of dollars have been invested in capital expenditure, purchasing new equipment and refurbishing or upgrading existing machinery with a view to improving the corporation’s capacity and the efficiency of its operations.
With the pandemic creating a very uncertain business environment, based on its widespread impact, there are serious concerns that the payment of bonuses could impact the corporation’s future cash flow, jeopardise jobs and offset further capital expenditure plans to enhance operational efficiency.
Government believes urgent dialogue between the corporation’s management and the union representatives should examine the situation, with a view to determining the medium to long-term impact of profit-sharing this year and a more responsible timeline that will satisfy the needs of all concerned.
Government notes that the dispute over profit-sharing comes at a time when hundreds of other workers across the country, have been on the breadline since the onset of the pandemic in Grenada.