RUBIS employees given termination letters effective September 30

Come September 30, 2022, should the concerns of RUBIS West Indies Limited, Dominica (RUBIS Dominica) and other petroleum distributors not be addressed by the government of Dominica, the 11year-old company will cease operations on island.

This is according to Country Manager of RUBIS Dominica, Nicholson Dodds who told Dominica News Online (DNO), that ten direct employees of the company have been given their severance letters effective September 30.

“All employees have all been served with their potential severance notice. So at this point what they are doing is asking the government to come to the table to see what can be done to save the petroleum industry in the form of peaceful protest actions.”

Dodds stated, while the company has ten direct employees, several other contractors and employees at the service stations will be affected should RUBIS permanently shut its doors in Dominica.

Last week, employees of RUBIS Dominica gathered along the E.O. Leblanc Highway in front of the company’s main compound in Canefield pleading with the government for their intervention in saving their jobs.

“This is a protest for survival,” employee Heskeith Delsol declared. “By the end of September if the government and Rubis are unable to reach a solution, we will be without a job.  Most of us here have mortgages and if September 30th comes and the government doesn’t do anything then we will be in big trouble.”

“I am traumatized,” said another. “By the end of September if RUBIS leaves, we will be out of a job and I don’t know how I’m going to feed my family and pay my bills.”

“My concern is that, at the end of September, I will no longer be employed. We need something to be done to save our jobs.  We still have mortgages and all our bills to pay so we are asking the government to please do something to save our jobs.”

“If the authorities don’t do anything to save the company come month end I will not have a job. We are asking the government to think of the people who will be affected. We have families to feed so please do something to save our jobs.”

On September 15, 2022, RUBIS Dominica, the distribution company of petroleum and aviation fuels, LPG and lubricants, announced the suspension of fuel sales to its customers, following what the company says is significant financial losses incurred since entering Dominica in 2011 and which they have accrued at an even greater pace for the past six years.

“These losses are due to highly unfavorable mandated fuel prices, which are below the true importation value of fuel.”

A similar action had been announced by RUBIS Dominica in 2021, however, according to the company,  at that time, the Government of Dominica agreed to implement some changes to the regulated prices aimed at partially restoring the profitability of the fuel distribution business in this market, with further actions promised for the first quarter of 2022.

Dodds told DNO, since then, no action has been taken by the to restore the profitability of the fuel distribution business and RUBIS Dominica has continued to incur significant losses as a result as the petroleum products are heavily subsidized by RUBIS and other fuel importers.

He noted that while RUBIS Dominica has been the only importer to take action, “we are not the only ones hurting.”

“All representation that was made to the government was a joint approach between RUBIS, the National Petroleum (NP) and West Indies Oil as we are the major importers and we are all hurting likewise. This is not only a Rubis problem, all players are affected by the pricing structure.”

In a statement by Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit following the announcement of suspension of services by RUBIS Dominica, he accused the company of not being transparent during negotiations.

“We are open to discussions, the discussions must be transparent and information [that] we would ask of RUBIS they must make it available, they should make it available so that the government can have a better appreciation of its concerns and what realistically can be done to respond to the issue.”

However, Dodds debunked Skerrit’s claims as according to him, they want nothing more than to have their issues resolved.

As it relates to continuity of the company in Dominica should their demands not be met by the government, the Country Manager posited, “RUBIS is a company that seeks opportunities for investment and it is regrettable  that our investment in Dominica had to come to this.” Adding, “If the environment sometime in the future is feasible and the investment climate is susceptible to investors I think not only RUBIS  but other companies will be willing to invest but we can’t continue to invest in a market where our returns for several years have been negative and there is no end in sight.”

The Prime Minister has also said that he will write to the French authorities about the action of the Rubis Dominica. Rubis is an independent French company in the energy sector and the production of renewable electricity. It operates in over 40 countries in  Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

DNO was unsuccessful in our attempts to speak to management of West Indies Oil and NP.

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19 Comments

  1. Mark
    September 23, 2022

    We should cut our revenue (duty and taxes) and give it to the “FAT CATS) at RUBIS. No questions asked. WOW. What a suggestion.
    I am sure this came from an executive at RUBIS, most definitely not from a Dominican who stands to be impacted by any price increase.

  2. BG
    September 21, 2022

    Some of you here are suggesting that Big Oil Rubis should give no details of their financial statements and just demand more profits. This is just ridiculous. You all speak like allowing Rubis higher profits will not result in higher prices at the pump. Stop this self hate. Stop being political at your own detriment. Do your research- Ribis is a mighty big company globally. People at the top of the oil industry “earn ” ridiculously high salaries. They give themselves ridiculous bonuses.
    I am saying, not at my expense this time around. Hold your ground PM Hon Skerrit.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11
    • Robertson
      September 23, 2022

      Why should Rubis sustain loses just to please your friend the Right Dishonourable CM Dr. Dr. Dr. Skerrit. Your triple doctor wanted to be super clever on this one and force them to sell below market price instead of him waving all this heavy taxes and charges that he imposes on the stuff in the first place. Skerrit might be able to use his head on people like you (BG) but the executives of Rubis SA see through a shyster like him at the blink of an eye. What does BG stand for? Big Gertrude? Hahaha!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  3. Jonathan Y St Jean
    September 21, 2022

    Do the math and add RUBIS to the long list of private businesses which have gone out of operation in Dominca under the leadership of Skerritt. Whilst fewer and fewer persons get richer and richer the vast majority of citizens get poorer and poorer. That’s a hell of a legacy for a man who boasts having two honorary doctorates. Will someone help the leader with some maths so he can understand what’s happening.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  4. Mark
    September 21, 2022

    @Ronald Charles, you hit the nail right on the head. You raised several questions that need to be answered. RUBIS needs to make the case for a rate incease. Very few details are available to the general public therefore we need to know whether the increase is justified or not. It just might be greed on their part. This increase potentially affects the entire island (Higher gas prices) so details are very important here.
    It is unfortunate that some persons may loose their jobs if RUBIS were to leave but it’s not the end of the world for them. This sort of thing, layoffs, downsizing, restructuring happens all the time in the more developed countries therefore no need to panic. You will find another job. You may even find a better job. You know what is said about every disappointment….CLAIM IT.
    Finally , it is governments’ responsibility to do what’s best for the public at large therefore they will weigh the facts and decide what’ most beneficial for Dominica.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14
  5. September 21, 2022

    What does he know about transparency. The pot calling the kettle black. Go Sid down and be humble.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2
  6. Tt
    September 21, 2022

    What an embarrassment!! Guess those people joining long list of unemployed. Get your red shirts out. Notice which businesses aren’t in financial trouble….

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4
  7. Lawyer
    September 21, 2022

    More jobs gone purely due to this PMs incompetence, stubbornness and vindictiveness. All you remember the Ross University story. This man won’t stop until he has ruined the entire country.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4
  8. Bwa-Banday
    September 20, 2022

    Calling on SYMBOT-GWAN-MOVEMANT to get off you high and mighty horse and save these people’s job. You too darn egoistic and vindictive. STOP playing heavy, put you tail in between ur hind legs and admit you are wrong. My god, this man has no heart or dignity. God is not not a bajan police offocer. One day you up, the next day you down garson take warning.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3
  9. Yawns
    September 20, 2022

    Since y’all kno what’s the effective date try n apply for another job in the mean time

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11
    • Ibo France
      September 21, 2022

      Are you serious ? Finding a job in Dominica right now is like going fishing in a desert. The unemployment rate is among the highest in the entire Caribbean.

      A caring leader would have gone to great lengths to save the jobs of the affected employees. Instead, Roosevelt has flagged his wings and flown off to the United Nations with a large entourage of his slavish worshippers.

      Roosevelt is demonically unfeeling and wicked.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4
  10. Ronald Charles
    September 20, 2022

    It would be very informative if the public would be informed of the levels of increase that RUBIS is demanded.
    Importantly, they must compare what it is that they are demanding from government that would deliver to them a fair and reasonable return on their investments. What if government were to acceded to their request? Will the price of fuel rise or fall at the pump? And by how much either way? If it’s an increase, how much? And are they suggesting that government should increase on the existing concessions that have served to suppress the prices of petroleum products in order to deliver their profit levels? Can the people of Dominica pay more for fuel over the existing prices? Are they saying by inferences that government take a cut on the existing taxes in order to hand them the profit levels they are demanding over the jobs of 10 workers? RUBIS must state their case clearly. More info is needed. What will be the price of fuel at the pump – bottom line? I have choices.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 20
    • RandyX
      September 21, 2022

      No, the government or more to the point the CM must state their case clearly. Wasn’t it the CM that promised Dominicans cheaper fuel without giving us further details. I do smell a rat again. Anytime this man gets involved there is controversy, confusion, lies, corruption and divisiveness. I bet you he told Rubis to carry the financial burden. I bet you any money!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2
    • BG
      September 21, 2022

      This is the best comment I have read here. Well said.

  11. Dom-in-a -ka
    September 20, 2022

    Boy the fire of hell getting hotter in Dominica. Skerrit has realized that when he gets Dom-in-cans poorer it works very well for his political wickedness so why not cause more employers to run out?
    In 2017 the man caused and forced Ross University to run of Dom-in-a-ca and they rewarded him with more votes more seats than ever before. In any other country Skerrit would have been kicked out except Dom-in-ca. Not only that but Skerrit even mocked them just days before the 2019 election for not having health insurance to run out in case of sickness whereas he told them he has health insurance to run out with his children and those Dom-in-cans applauded him for taking them as fools.
    Three years later no sign of any health insurance, all banks running out, local business owners running out of Dominica and now he running out gas stations with more than 200 employees . But just now he and China will run all you boom boom out of Dominica

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
  12. Tony
    September 20, 2022
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  13. Ibo France
    September 20, 2022

    I see the beleaguered employees of RUBIS trying to appeal to Roosevelt to have a change of mind and save their job.

    If you are not Chinese nor of Arab ancestry, your desperate cries will fall on deaf ears. Roosevelt has proven, again and again, he has no sympathy for his own people. He is averse to the suffering of Dominicans.

    No political happens without some sort of personal sacrifice. Corrupt politicians don’t voluntarily give up power. They prefer to rust in government.

    The populace will have to use any legal means necessary to dislodge the tainted, illlegitimate occupant from the OPM in Dominica.Nothing short of that will suffice.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
  14. Ibo France
    September 20, 2022

    The breadline in Dominica grows longer and longer with no end in sight for the next two years.

    One stubborn, heartless, uncaring man has once again shows his complete disdain for the welfare of native Dominicans. This is patently obvious to every person with even a modicum of common sense.

    Life in this country has become unbearable in this galloping dictatorship.

    I have to repeat this. A country gets the ruler it deserves.. Indifference, apathy, lethargy, silence, stoicism, have never brought any positive changes to a country. The dictator becomes more enboldened.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

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