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Arawak to continue restructuring efforts


Arawak to continue restructuring efforts

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THE ARAWAK CEMENT Company Ltd (ACCL) today informed employees of its intention to offer voluntary separation packages as part of a financial and operational restructuring programme started in October 2015.

In a release, the company said it is continuing this initiative now because the first phase of the restructuring has not yielded the results that are necessary to attain profitability and competitiveness.

“This is due to the unfavourable economic conditions globally and in the region, that regrettably make it necessary to further reduce costs in all areas of our operations. With significant excess cement capacity in the region and highly competitive price sensitive markets, cost reduction is vital for Arawak to return to profitability and improve competitiveness in this market and grow export in the region,” Arawak said.

General manager Manuel Toro met with all employees this morning at the St Lucy plant to inform them of the need to continue the restructuring process that includes the company’s offer to employees who are interested in voluntary separation, which will commence over the coming weeks, for those interested in submitting applications.

The company said all severance will be done in accordance with the collective agreements currently in force with the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).   The company will also be meeting with the two unions shortly to discuss the terms of the separation.

Toro said Trinidad Cement Limited‘s (TCL) BDS$20 million investment in Arawak demonstrated the company’s commitment to the long-term development of the Barbados operation.

He cited the cost of energy and labour, which are significantly higher than regional competitors, combined with a slowdown of the construction sector worldwide and in the region, were two of the key factors that have challenged the business in Barbados

Should ACCL not meet the required levels of separation through the voluntary process, the company will continue discussions with the union, with respect to the conditions under which additional people will be separated in order to meet the required target in specific areas of the operation.

The general manager has given the assurance that Arawak will provide all the entitlements due to those affected, in accordance with the Laws of Barbados. The company will also be offering counselling and other support services, to assist all staff members in making the transition. (PR/NB)