Posted On: Tuesday, 17 July 2012 Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2012
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Basseterre, St. Kitts, (Tuesday 17th July, 2012)-One of the country’s leading manufacturing entities Electrofab has served formal notice that 20 workers will soon be laid off. The job losses are expected to take effect within the next two months.
Minister of International Trade, Industry and Commerce Timothy Harris says that from his interaction with several affected workers, they are worried that it will be very difficult for them to find new jobs.
“I am concerned about this not only from the perspective of the manufacturing entity, but from the human side of it. People without work find it harder to pay their bills, meet regular commitments like mortgages, take care of their children and do those ordinary things that add worth and value to their lives. I understand their dilemma and difficulty,” Harris said.
He also mentioned that he has been advised by management that a decline in market for certain products has been a critical factor in management’s decision to sever workers. Workers had indicated that three days of work on and off was not helpful to them and in that regard some opted for retrenchment.
Dr Harris said he appreciated that many businesses reduced labour hours/days with a view to maintain employee levels but under employment is a humbug and cannot lead to a long run solution, because workers become demoralized over time if they are unable to satisfy basic needs from their employment.
He also added that while the news was not bright, the viability of the export manufacturing sector is linked to the restoration of growth in the demand markets abroad, and ability of manufacturers to improve on efficiencies, enhance quality and add consumer value.