Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Sheik Baksh today said there needs to be better understanding of GWI’s decision to fire more than 150 workers within a 3-month span.
At a press conference today, the CEO said the process to remove over 150 workers from the water company is necessary since the company cannot sustain the large employment cost.
It was the second time within a week that Mr. Baksh appeared before the media to defend the state-owned company’s decision to send home more than 150 workers.
Mr. Baksh comments today came one day after former managing director of the company Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, said the company is operating at a profit and GWI regional offices rake in enough revenues to cover staff salaries.
But the current CEO said the management of GWI undertook a restructuring and staffing rationalization to ensure greater efficiency and productivity in the company’s operations and that due process was followed in terminating the workers.
“Due process was followed. The board of directors from GWI was integrally, involved in all the decision-making processes leading up to this termination in accordance with the termination of employment act,” Baksh said.
Baksh said the company held discussions with the Labour Ministry and the union representing the water company workers, he said the dismissals were done in a fair and transparent manner.
“So, we have reached the point where a number of employees will have to be severed in order to ensure a highly efficient organization,” Baksh said.
Executive Human Resource Director of GWI, Elvis Jordan said the termination of the staff would not affect the overall performance of the Water company.
“This process that we are embarking on in term of reorganizing, it was a well thought out that involves all the technical department, the managers, the regional managers, the directors. It is not a case where the HR sat and come up with this decision…we would have act out most of the work process, and programme of the company before we came up with this decision so,” Jordan said.
76 out of the more than 150 persons earmarked to be severed have already received their dismissal letters. The workers were told that the company is going through major restructuring to align the business to meet its new objectives.
Some of the workers have been in the company’s employ for more than five years.