Rubis lay-offs put on hold while negotiations continue with Govt

A Rubis gas station

Good news for the employees of Rubis West Indies Limited Dominica and the nation by extension, as management of the company have deferred their decision to suspend the sale of fuel in Dominica and lay off members of staff.

The distribution company of petroleum and aviation fuels, LPG and lubricants, gained public attention last month when the contents of a letter dated August 16, 2021, were sent to members of staff informing them of the company’s decision to implement lay-offs for three months effective  September 16, 2021, was published in the media.

Rubis attributed its decision to a loss of earnings “for nearly five years” and said it was awaiting word “which could affect the company’s future on the island” from the Government with whom it was negotiating.

On August  27, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in response, made it clear that he would not give in to ‘extortionist approaches’ and indicated that based the price build-up mechanism that determines the wholesale price and the final price of fuel at the pumps, his government is not paying the company less than what they pay for the gasoline, as they allege in their letter.

He declared that his government will import petroleum if Rubis leaves Dominica.

On September 3, at least six of the nine service stations operated by Rubis West Indies Limited Dominica and one other provider, under the aegis of the Association of Fuel Retailers in Dominica, ceased operations and indicated that they would not reopen until their demands were met by the government.

The group said their protest was prompted by a lack of progress in negotiations with the government on the price build-up mechanism for the sale of fuel, a situation which the association said would cause a collapse of “this critical industry” if it was not addressed urgently.

Three days later, following a meeting with the ministry of trade, the association announced a change of heart and resumed operations on September 6, 2021, ostensibly, “to give the Government additional time to resolve the issues of the petroleum industry in Dominica.”

Many then waited with bated breath for September 16th, the deadline set by Rubis for its staff lay-offs and suspension of the sale of fuel.

But on that day, all of the company’s service stations, including the Portsmouth Service Station, A. C Shillingford Service Station, Castle Comfort Service Station, Jimmit Service Station, Marigot Service Station and Calibishie Service Station, remained open to customers.

When contacted, Rubis Country Manager, Nicholson Dodds, told Dominica News Online (DNO) that the previously announced actions by the company has been put on hold, “as we continue to negotiate in good faith.”

He said that the company will keep the public informed if the situation changes and declined to comment any further.

DNO’s attempts to seek additional comments from the Fuel Retailers Association of Dominica and the ministry of trade on the status of the negotiations, have been unsuccessful.

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  1. Waiting For Airport
    September 23, 2021

    Rubis showing all you how to get things done in this country.

    Unless Dominicans ready and willing to do what they have to do to hold the government at ransom, things will only get worse. We saw it with the bus drivers and we seeing it again here – this is the only thing the government responds to!

    Right now what we need is the spirit of the ancestors who fought to free us! Stop let SKerrit n dem have us like marjhee, time to stand up and fight for our human rights D A people!

  2. Rubies & Diamonds
    September 21, 2021

    I’m not in Skeritt’s corner one bit. But it looks like Rubis used the word “ layoffs” to get sympathy from the suffering people and to get what they want from the government. The government is overly corrupt. But when you wrong the government for money you wrong the poor working people. Let’s hope the workers get a raise. If not, Rubis workers should go on strike. One hand washes the other.

  3. September 21, 2021

    Again I have to reiterate my personal sentiment that at anytime King Liar gets near you THATS IT. That man has an evil spirit that would deter God if God was not who he is. At anytime you come close to King Liar, shake his hand, give a hug or anyting else this king will deter your mind and to back what he wants from you. No wonder Rubis had a change of heart. My people have’nt you reaslise by now that King Liar is not only a liar but he is evil also? To late shall be your cry.

  4. September 20, 2021

    What we not seeing is the same bus drivers that going to pay the price. When they raise the price drivers farmers and the public will pay more for goods. And salary remain the same the gas company not going to give their staff a raise .That increase is for the managers.

  5. Ti Garcon
    September 20, 2021

    DNO, I understood that the govt already gave them most of what they wanted.
    I wished you could have gotten from the Walter guy, or form either the Minster of Trade or LL, information on how much and why the govt owes to these gas stations. Especially Rubis.
    Also, the current price mechanisms and compare them in table format to the previous. As tax payers and citizens this information shouldn’t be secret.
    That y the opposition will stay weak, they ou’ sha on electoral reform and corruption, yet ignore the bread and butter issues cutting into the hearts of the electorate.

  6. dissident
    September 20, 2021

    De government has been well informed of de situation at RUBIS.
    Skerrit doesn’t drag his feet like dat to sell a passport!!!!

  7. Man bite dogs
    September 20, 2021

    @ % Why the hell you can’t stop being a baboon for once you and that son of a gone Ibo, keep singing the same old song till you guys frothing at the mouth like poisonous reptiles! Labour Skerrit, boots on the ground %, we will show you who is” COWARD ” suckers!!!

    • Ibo France
      September 23, 2021

      Brain dead comment as usual. Do you know that a crab has no brain? It survives by using instincts. Dog Biter, your comments are always crab-like (brainless).

      By the way, stop telling lies about being a member of the British Army. You couldn’t even fill out the application form.

  8. Eugene Francis
    September 20, 2021

    For sure ,he does not need any advice from the haters like so called % who will just keep hating for a very long time.

    • %
      September 20, 2021

      @ Eugene Francis
      I hate everything bad and disgusting.
      Skerrit’s leadership epitomises both.I see through his lies, deceipt and deception, even his shenanigans in parliament. His leadership is the worst Dominica has seen, and will ever see…He is an effusive liar, but uses political sophistry to fool you and your ilks.
      Tell him when he returns from Mexico where he spewed a barrage of lies, to put his lazy self in quarantine, and dont attend any funeral the next day…!

      • Man bite dogs
        September 21, 2021

        @% If you hate everything bad and disgusting so why are you siding with Ugly Lenny, then answer that one, you two face dragon!!!

        • Ibo France
          September 23, 2021

          Whenever I read Dog Biter’s comments I’m reminded of this – A BRAIN is a terrible thing to waste.

    • Ibo France
      September 21, 2021

      An astute leader always lends a listening to new ideas. He then takes onboard the ones that are most likely to bear fruits.

      Even a broken clock is right twice per day. This is how we grow personally, educationally and intellectually by listening to or reading others ideas.. No man has a monopoly on ideas. No man is an island. No man can stand alone. We need one another. Let all ideas contend.

  9. Jonathan Y St Jean
    September 20, 2021

    The government has been forced to stand down and and seek to dialogue with the petrol retailers. Government should have been scheduling meetings with the association from 2014 but felt like it’s the only game in town and calls the shots. Well, the bus drivers and Rubis have caused the government to lose face in it’s high and mighty behavior. Let’s hope there will be a change of governing style from the cabal. The winners of democratic governance will be the people of Dominca, and the losers also when dictatorship raises it’s ugly head.

  10. Bwa-Banday
    September 20, 2021

    Doh worry folks the Dictator commonly known as “Symbot Gwan Movemah” will soon jee-back and pay Rubis their money. The caveat will be that they cannot discuss the final agreement because he will look like a koo-nou-moo-nou. he has a lot of gwan-jel but a known coward. Remember the deal he made with a certain radio personality when settlement on a published article was reached? Mark my words 8)

    • As I SEE IT
      September 20, 2021

      What I am seeing is Hurricane Skerrit and his COVID -18 USELESS MINISTERS rapidly bringing Dominica to it’s grave

  11. %
    September 20, 2021

    Liar Skerrit is a coward. “A Gwan Gel” leader. Whenever people or indeed even an organisation ‘Stands its Ground’, he cowers, trembles and maybe even goes underground hiding in fear and trepidation.
    See how he will address this matter in an amicable way.
    A coward “gwan gel” leader with dictatorial tendencies!!!
    He bla, bla bla,bla, bla, lies, but he is a “kwapon”!!!

    • Ibo France
      September 20, 2021

      You are 100% correct %. A police chief once said that all bullies are cowards. He said their language, gait and aggressive behaviour are to conceal their insecurities, inhibition and cowardice. Skerrit is no Goliath.

      The man is like a block of ice in direct sunlight. He melts and evaporates when you stand up to him.

      The petroleum industry is too crucial an entity to just flippantly dismiss. Government, from the onset, should have sat across the table and engage Rubis in honest negotiations. Make compromises where you can. ‘Badmanism’ out a style.

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