Staff cut looms at PWC

PWC workers have staged two days of protest
PWC workers have staged two days of protest

“Restructuring” and “making people redundant” are among words being heard following a meeting between the Board of Directors of the Public Works Corporation (PWC) and the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) late Thursday.

The meeting came on the heels of two days of protest action by PWC workers who said they have not received salaries for four fortnights.

Board members of the PWC is making it clear that the Corporation has to be restructured and redundancy is possible.

“Everyone, including the staff, is aware that the PWC has a large overhead and of course laying off and making people redundant is not always the first option, but there comes a point when if you have something that is a recurring decimal and you have to take some steps to correct it, and that is one we are working on currently,” Board Director, Simeon Albert said to the media after the meeting.

Albert pointed out that in “restructuring” a number of factors, including the laying off of staff, have to be considered.

But the matter is not going down well with General Secretary of the DPSU, Thomas Letang, who is calling on the board to be honest with the workers.

“It’s not a matter of learning from your mistakes, it’s about taking a different approach to the way we have been doing things in the past and we are asking the board to be very candid, very honest with the staff what their intentions are,” he said. “When you talk about restructuring, tell them exactly what you mean by restructuring and all the other issues that we are being faced with. Be honest with them.”

He added, “Once we heard about restructuring, and as a union when you represent people and you hear about restructuring, you cannot pretend that, that may not include laying-off of staff and making positions redundant. Now the employer will never say that to you but that is something that you should bear in mind and that is why we are asking the board to be very honest and tell us what their intentions are.”

A meeting is expected to be held between the workers, the board and the DPSU on Friday and the matter will be discussed further.

“Even at the meeting today that was hinted but we will have further discussions on that at tomorrow’s meeting,” Letang said.

He noted that no union leader can ever be happy about people’s positions being made redundant however there are some staff who would not mind it, instead of having to go through “this” all the time.

With regards to the Minister for Public Works, Ian Pinard stating publicly that monies will be made available for staff’s salary, Letang said “it’s very disappointing.”

He noted that everytime workers at the PWC protest, there is the impression that it is only about non-payment and the delay of salaries.

“It is more than that,” he remarked.

Letang said protest will not end until the staff decides the position the union should take.

Meanwhile Shop Stewart at the PWC, Dale Laurent, said that it is “open knowledge” the Corporation is going though “a lot of struggles” which are longstanding, but the issue really is about sustainability.

“We are hearing in the air about restructuring and I guess in that whole process of restructuring, after all is said and done, the Corporation will be able to be viable and we will have sustainability at the Corporation,” he remarked.

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33 Comments

  1. CLARITY
    May 16, 2015

    WHO owns s the companies that have been receiving the contracts from Governmnt which has replaced PWD as the principal provider of services for the MINISTRY OF WORKS ?
    Are the owners of those companies who replaced PWD – MINISTERS /FRIENDS OF MINISTERS ? PATNERS OF MINISTERS?

  2. Macko
    May 15, 2015

    Public Works employees should show their disgust by blocking those minister and advisor owned equipment on government jobs.

  3. timtim
    May 15, 2015

    My goodness! Look who is chairman. The state of Dominica just makes my head hurt. I can’t even think of the country anymore.

  4. Lang Mama
    May 15, 2015

    If you think they care. The board members have other jobs and feed from the trough. A desperately instituted NEP was so insincerely important all while PWC workers struggled.
    A few months ago it was very important to employ the Labor Party candidates who were not successful at the election.
    Charlie Jong’s salary can pay a handful of PWC field workers – note Charlie Jong also work out of St Kitts
    They care- they formulated 17 minister cabinet and they are creating high paying jobs for minister children and relatives.
    You think they care – the friends who gave $30 million for election campaign where are these friends now that the PWC employees are struggling.

    Where is god when diabolism is running a mock in the institution of government. religion threatens that god despise iniquity yet evil men are rewarded for their inequities by so call godly people

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=XtJCdjCJONI&app=desktop

    • timtim
      May 15, 2015

      You’ve hit the nail right on the head! Dead center!

  5. Me
    May 15, 2015

    That company is owned by govt. so nothing will happen without Skerrit’s say so. However, on the one hand he is saying he is creating jobs, even with artificial schemes like nep but on the other hand he would approve laying off people at PWC? It is not that we do not have roads to build and maintain do we, so why give this work to outsiders? Something does not make sense.

  6. Concerned Dominican
    May 15, 2015

    I ask myself how is a cooperation supposed to be ‘productive’ when the government, which is the main or sole shareholder of this very entity as well as the main employer in terms of provision of work, does not even make provision for regular work through road maintenance? When they do provide work, they then are UNABLE to make payments to the entity and so they are in turn, unable to make salary payments to the workers concerned!! So WHO REALLY IS FAILING HERE???? The government has removed the PWD as a department of government and has moved it to an independent operation seeking to fund itself. They are the most experienced at road maintenance yet they are being dismantled and deprived of work. Now there is talk of redundancies, only surfacing now as ‘protest action’ takes place!! Would this have come out into the open, but for the protest action? Was this being planned secretly? Is this really just? There are so many feeder roads needing repair, so why is there no work for PWD?…

  7. Malgraysa
    May 15, 2015

    I am very sad for the people at the PWC but we should not be surprised. This was always on the cards since govt. agreed to sell that site. No alternative site was ever located and that should tell us a message. In my opinion govt. has been wanting to divest itself of PWC for some time but did not want to do so before the election because of possible negative political fall out. It will now be up to mr. Pinard to carry out the “foul deed” and I do feel sorry for him in a sense. He is lumbered with a hot potato that he inherited but did not cook himself.

  8. Phoenix
    May 15, 2015

    It’s about time that this move be taken; for the good of the staff and the corporation. It cannot continue that ever so often people cannot get paid and protest action ensues. For my part I believe the corporation is unproductive as it is and keeping it going is just an injustice.

    • Ian
      May 15, 2015

      You believe it is unproductive because you fail to realize that the Government give projects to private companies rather than the PWC. The management of PWC is to be blamed for none performance also.

  9. george Fontaine
    May 15, 2015

    Very strange language indeed! How do we make “people redundant? ” In a situation like this, a quasi-governmental corporation, jobs need to be protected. If you restructure in order to improve performance and efficiency then sometimes certain “jobs” become redundant. For example, a conveyor belt may replace women carrying bananas on their heads, but it is stupid and malicious in a time of conflict to say that you may restructure to render “people” redundant.

  10. Francisco Telemaque
    May 15, 2015

    One of the problem at the PWC may be that the staff as in the people at the very top are probably overpaid; while the lower level worker which includes laborers are making very little, nevertheless; when it comes to render workers redundant the little man gets laid off, fired first, while the ones who kiss Skerrit Butt, remains employed.

    I read in the article where they admit high overhead cost; the little man, or those people we see in the picture are not anticipated to be the cause of the high overhead expenses!

    When one talks about over-head expenses, they are likely talking about things not chargeable to a particular part of work or product. So this points the finger back at staff members who are insignificant, yet are over paid. Cut the staff members who were awarded jobs in return for their political support and connection!

    • Lang Mama
      May 15, 2015

      Don’t you guys realize that every time public works employees are unpaid it is because government is owing the corporation. So all of that stuff about pay scale and over loaded payroll is all secondary and irrelevant when the corporation itself depend on government for cash flow.
      The primary and most relevant issue must be on the question of why the government does not honor it’s commitment to PWC.
      We have heard every excuse – that public works employees are lazy ( note 70% of the empoyees are “My Parl Rep sent me qualified employees” yet just to put party before country they would rather blame denigrate PWC employees who themselves have no choice but to take the rap. A viscous cycle all in protection of corrupt and inept politicians.

  11. E. Manon
    May 15, 2015

    I’m just gonna grab a bowl of pop corn, sit back, put my feet up, and watch this drama/comedy called “Dominica Belaboured”. This movie plot is set on a tropical island where a mostly clueless, semi brain dead population keep voting in (over and over and over) a bunch of corrupt, vindictive politicians who keep spitting their faces (over and over and over). I don’t want to give away the ending of the movie, but let’s just say that by the time the islanders get their senses back…. naaaaah, you’re just going to have to watch the movie yourself when/if you get paid. Enjoy!!

  12. May 14, 2015

    Ungrateful fools! Attempting to bite the kind hands of Labour that feeds them has ultimately backfired. Now, a lot of them (if not most) will lose their jobs. When, however, you PWC idiots are unemployed please do not attempt to come to the so-called “Red Clinic” which is reserved for FAITHFUL LABOURITES who would never go against the Supreme Leader and his Cabinet members. With that said, go protest in your gardens where you lazy bums belonged at in the first place, Just throw down your cutlass and shovel and QUIT! Never go against LABOUR!!!!

    • Francisco Telemaque
      May 15, 2015

      Labor Of Love , you idiot don’t you know that the majority of the people who are not been paid are the same stupid idiots Skerrit and Labor Party supporters?

      Don’t you know before one can get employed within any entity controlled by Skerrit’s government a letter must travel from some labor man hand to hand authorizing the labor supporter employment?

      You are very dumb to believe that the people protesting are UWP supporters. Skerrit will continue to kick all of you nasty stupid people who cleans the feces out of him when he is finished defecating. Your shame has caused you to say it is UWP. Who the hell is biting that hand that feed them? Employment is the greatest necessity in individual life’s; nobody should have to thank Skerrit or any politician for a damn job you fool!

      • May 18, 2015

        Telemaque, you lying, uneducated, UWP lapdog Jackass, reread my comment and tell me where it says anything about the so-called protesters being Uneducated Wicked People supporters. You are always referring to people as dumb, fool, idiot and stupid. However, from your extensive posting about your relatives, your vast knowledge of all subjects and your great credentials I can tell that you are a liar and a pretender. You are a nobody seeking to garner attention and recognition on DNO. You most-likely worked a minimum-wage janitor job for most of your years abroad, living in a filthy studio apartment with your stinking cat and its feces under your torn-up sofa where you sleep. You’ve always been a nasty, ugly and lonely man as no woman could stand to be around you for too long listening to your constant ramblings about where you’ve been and whom you know. Your breath smells terrible and your hygiene is even worse. Now you are old and retired, living off your meager…

    • Derryck
      May 15, 2015

      Are you being paid to make these remarks, or are you really believing what you wrote? The irony of redundancy.

  13. May 14, 2015

    it is a foregone conclusion who will be made redundant. let this party go along their merry way. nothing happens before it’s time but happens in the fullness of time . :!:

  14. I hate labour
    May 14, 2015

    You see people like all you is dominica that just. To slow. Soon an very soon time will tell

  15. Ti Shikah
    May 14, 2015

    Why isn’t PWC a division of the Ministry of Communications, works and housing? It was PWD in the past . Make it PWD again. There may be no reason to make anyone redundant or permanently lay off anyone. There are too many ” Bosses” making excessive sums while the regular guy is always the one to be left holding the SHITTY end of the stick. As for the politicians, I believe you are being vindictive. These workers are being threatened because they protested for their wages. They have to eat like everyone else. They have families to feed like the politicians too. How many times did they go home empty handed to their families while the politicians were able to take their wives, concubines, jakabats etc to dinner? All shall eat? What shall all eat when you are taking bread from all when all is asking for what rightfully belongs to all ? There is no more fig boxing plant and kayi. What will all eat?

  16. The Facts
    May 14, 2015

    In view of their restructuring, should this deter them from paying the staff? For God’s sake, they are owed four fortnights which are six weeks salary. The staff want their salary. Give them their money. What has restructuring got to do with it?

    • Francisco Telemaque
      May 15, 2015

      Facts, I believe I will give you a thumbs up on this and the following submission: At least you have discovered what is going on in a sense, and are not altogether bias here. The fact is Skerrit and Pinard has no interest in laying of nor firing the hierarchy.

      The the staff comprises of Labor Party supporters, they are Skerrit’s die hard, they are the one who will kill you if you talk about the bad things taking place in the country, and the incompetence of Roosevelt, and the damage he has caused in the country!

      The target shall be the laborers, and lower level employees, although probably 85% of them are die and pro Skerrit. I assure you if there is a single supporter of the UWP, or any other party working at the PWC, that person cannot identify themselves as any other; that person is compelled to pretend they are like the rest thanking God for Skerrit. And that’s the way it is in Dominica.

  17. The Facts
    May 14, 2015

    Restructure – another word for lay-offs. They are reorganizing, considering staff reduction. The workload will not be decreased but assigned to other staff, creating an overload. They will be working harder..
    Fewer staff and departments also mean staff cuts. Less of them to pay and less expense.
    Restructure is the norm today (a word borrowed from bigger countries), to make it sound less harsh that lay-offs are imminent.
    Even though some may not know the meaning of “restructuring”, they should realize that there will be lay-offs.
    Some jobs will become redundant – phased out, some through attrition – retirement or resignation. This is also due to restructuring. Decrease in staff – all lay-offs.
    Some will be told to take early retirement or given their retirement papers. They could strike a deal with others and ask them to resign – all lay-offs; nothing else.
    Do not be deceived by some big words which decrease the blow of dismissals – lay offs.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      May 15, 2015

      Facts I gave you thumbs up for the one above for obvious reasons, but if you mess with me I will take my thumbs up back:

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahhahahah!

      I will tell you why: You are fooling yourself to believe that redundancy of some staff is going to be shifted to the remaining staff, and they will work harder. Nonsense, there is hardly enough work load at the top to facilitate the number of so called staff, and that is the problem, that is the reason they are talking about overhead expense. Review my post where I described what is meant by overhead expense!

  18. real possie
    May 14, 2015

    No matter where you are in the world businesses always go through a faze, most of the big companies did it only in DA people think you don’t have the right to restructure, but is about time these things be fixed.

    • Lang Mama
      May 15, 2015

      Every time public works employees cant get paid it is because government cant pay the corporation ( which is owned by government by the way.) The government seem to be the institution most in need of restructuring. The dead weight jobs for the boyz- the Charlie Jong, the unsucessful Labor candidates, Loreen Bannis, Francine Baron, Tongue, Emmanuel Nanthan, Eddie Lambert, Ambassador A, Product TV Tea Parry, What about the paid Board members who are all employed in other areas soe on multiple boards and getting several pay checks;
      So Government cant pay public works so public works can’t pay it’s employees yet fools like Real Porssie will continue to be DNO’s most Jack A**** making stupid remarks that it is Public Works that need restructuring

    • Francisco Telemaque
      May 15, 2015

      In the first place the word is Phase, and not faze!

      For your benefit only the word “phase” can be defined in different ways, nonetheless I will deal with it in the terms you intended: which means ” a particular appearance or state in a regular recurring cycle of changes. Again it means “a distinguishable part in a course, development, or cycle.”

      Now, if I want to get technical: when we say Phase in my profession of electrical or electronic engineering; phase means the point or stage in a period of uniform circular motion, harmonic motion, or the periodic changes of any magnitude varying according to a simple harmonic law to which the rotation, oscillation, or variation has advanced considered in its relation to a standard position, or assumed instant of starting.

      I will not take you into homogeneous, physically distinct, and mechanically separable portion of matter……… that will be over your head. I hope this help.

    • May 16, 2015

      So true. Just ask the hundreds of Dominicans living abroad who have gone through the same thing, but some of the same people call the radio stations or write on websites for Dominicans to believe it does not happen anywhere else but in Dominica.

      Businesses reconstruct all the time. If only we read more of the real world. I read that Target stores in Canada are closed and hundreds of employees are unemployed.

      The Post Office at one time was one of governments’ departments that employed the most people and one of the busiest departments. Now you go to a post office and there is hardly a line-up.

      One of the reasons? What we are using right now the internet. We send an email instead of writing and mailing a letter. So Post Offices the world over is not as busy as they once were.

      You call a business and a computer answers you not a live person. It may take as much as 30 minutes before you get a live person after pressing several automated buttons. Reality!

  19. All around
    May 14, 2015

    We should restructure everywhere. What of the $80, 000 a year people are being paid to sit and twiddle thumbs all day. All those liason positions in the ministry need to go! Leave the poor folks with their measly salary jobs.

  20. Doc. Love
    May 14, 2015

    The redundancy process is nothing but a form of retaliation. The Government can make $3.5 million available for NEP. There was a big demonstration because of the conditions of the Salisbury roads and Dominica by extension, now that Government needs all man on deck to repair the roads all over Dominica, the institution which is responsibility to repair the roads, they are going to be put on the bread line or visit the red clinic. They are talking about redundancy at Public Works. Are they telling us, the inexperience workers of the NEP are going to repair the roads.

  21. Kid On The Block
    May 14, 2015

    Good move. There are many ways to skin a cat.

    • hard cure dca
      May 15, 2015

      kid on the block you head is fill with bocks, now you will get more competition on your own block.

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