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Clico cuts 200


Clico cuts 200

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OVER 200 plantation workers have been sent on temporary leave, as CLICO Holdings continues to face serious money challenges.
The company, which has recently been at the centre of national and regional headlines owing to the financial contagion caused by the collapse of its Trinidad-based parent company CL Financial, has confirmed the latest cuts which directly affect the sugar sector.
CLICO president Terrence Thornhill, in a telephone interview, told the WEEKEND NATION that the leave, which started on Monday, January 17, was part of cost-cutting measures, but he noted that the workers would be re-engaged in time for the February start of the 2011 sugar crop.
“We are currently doing an analysis to prepare for the crop and see how many workers that would take so those persons would then be re-engaged for the time,” he said.
Thornhill pointed out that it was just the “normal adjustments that they made year to year to keep measures at cost”.
The layoffs affect several plantations, including Wakefield, Lemon Arbor, Todds, Bowmanston, Clifton Hall and Hothersal, which are ranked amongst some of the island’s best sugar lands.
Reacting to the development last night, one senior Government official noted that it had been tough going for all sugar plantations.
 He said that while Government was not opposed to extending temporary support to ensure the on-time start of this year’s sugar harvest, it could only guarantee assistance for state-controlled entities.
In this regard, the Freundel Stuart administration is expected to go to Parliament shortly to seek approval for a $150 million guarantee to assist Government-run sugar and other agriculture sector entities over the next three years.