Pan Caribbean Sugar Company, a Chinese owned company, Complant, has been restructuring and dismissing workers due to redundancy; recently 100 security employees were let go. The National Workers Union is now taking action. Apparently, the Jamaican-based subsidiary of Complant International was given a 20-year tax break on five categories of taxes when it bought three sugar estates from the Jamaican government in 2011. This new action may lead to unrest.
All is not well at three of Jamaica’s sugar estates, after nearly 100 security employees were suddenly sent on paid leave by the management on Sunday. The workers are employed to Pan Caribbean Sugar Company which manages the Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge Estates.
The National Workers Union (NWU) has warned that the decision is not going down well with other workers at the estates and action could be taken. According to the employees, they showed up for work Sunday and were handed letters which stated that Pan Caribbean, a Chinese owned company, is considering a restructuring exercise and they had been placed on leave with immediate effect. The letter urged the workers to cooperate and stated that there could be changes. It is reported that a private security firm has since been brought in.
The displaced security employees are represented by the NWU which last night expressed surprise at the action taken against by Pan Caribbean. Vincent Morrison, NWU President, said no discussion had taken place with the management on the matter.
“We have been having discussions with them for the past couple of weeks. At no time did the management indicate to us that the security guards’ positions would be affected in terms of redundancy. What I understand is that they were just served notice on a Sunday informing them that their positions were made redundant. That is the kind of approach that we cannot accept: there is no discussion, no dialogue,” said Mr. Morrison.
And in light of reports of unrest at the three sugar estates the NWU will be seeking an emergency meeting with Pan Caribbean. “The workers are restive, we empathize with them and come this afternoon we will be seeking an urgent meeting with the company to try and resolve this situation…” said Mr. Morrison.
Photo (and article about tax breaks) from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120530/lead/lead3.html