Rubis employees to be laid off while company awaits Govt response on fuel sale regulation

Rubis gas station

Effective September 16, 2021, employees of Rubis West Indies Limited Dominica will be laid off for a period of three months as the distribution company of petroleum and aviation fuels, LPG and lubricants, suspend the sale of fuel in Dominica and await word from the Government which could affect the company’s future in Dominica.

Dominica News Online (DNO) has received a copy of a letter sent to members of staff dated August 16, 2021, informing them of the company’s decision to temporarily withdraw its services, pointing to a loss of earnings for nearly five years.

“You were previously advised by Rubis Country Representative in Dominica that Rubis West Indies Limited Dominica has incurred significant financial losses every year since 2016 and continuing in 2021,” the letter, signed by the Human Resource Manager, stated.

According to the company, the current regulated fuel prices in Dominica mandated by the Ministry of Trade requires that Rubis sells fuel below its acquisition cost, which the company says results in a loss of money for every gallon of fuel sold.

“You were also earlier informed that this situation is unsustainable and that as a result, Rubis would likely suspend fuel sale in Dominica to stop the economic loss while continuing to negotiate with the Government for improved regulation for the sale of its fuel product in Dominica. This course of action you were informed, would have a negative impact on jobs,” the letter stated.

Employees who received the letter were further told, “this letter serves to inform you that for the reason(s) given above, Rubis West Indies Limited has taken a decision to suspend fuel sale in Dominica for a period of 3 months, commencing the 16th day of September 2021 (suspension period).”

Pursuant to section 13 of the Protection of Employment Act chapter 89:02 of the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the company has decided to lay off employees for a period of 6-weeks in the first instance commencing on September 16, or at a later date immediately following the expiration of any accrued vacation leave.

“We will inform you in a subsequent letter of the vacation leave to which you are entitled, if any, the date on which said vacation leave will end and the dates on which your 6 weeks’ lay off period will commence and end,” the letter, copied to the National Workers Union, read.

“During your period of lay off you are not to report to work and will receive no pay. However, you remain an employee of Rubis West Indies limited unless you determine otherwise. We understand that lay-off will be a difficult event for you but the company has no reasonable alternative in the circumstances,” Rubis stated.

The letter ended by stating that the company hopes for a  successful resolution with the Government of Dominica and will update employees on the situation and their employment status.

DNO has contacted the Barbados-headquartered management team of Rubis West Indies who indicated that they would get back to us. We have also attempted, without success so far, to reach the Minister for Trade, Ian Douglas for comment.

The company, which operates in 12 other Caribbean islands, in 2011, acquired the assets of Texaco in Dominica which, at the time, was owned and operated by Chevron in the Eastern Caribbean.

Rubis has a network of nine service stations in Dominica, six of which have been rebranded to Rubis. These are: Portsmouth Service Station, A. C Shilingford Service Station, Castle Comfort Service Station, Jimmit Service Station, Marigot Service Station and Calibishie Service Station.

DNO will continue to follow this story.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to Rubis employees.

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49 Comments

  1. Mark
    August 23, 2021

    At $1.25 per gallon over the net fuel cost, cost of fuel plus government taxes, is a lot of money. At that rate, the station should come out way ahead after expenses (payroll, maintenance cost etc) if managed properly. FYI, the average US gas station margin per gallon is significantly less, way less than .25 cents per gallon and they’re doing just fine. Think about it…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      August 24, 2021

      So, for someone to understand your comment full, I think you should have quoted the actual price of a gallon of gas in Dominica.

      What you see below; may change daily, that stat; below means a gallon of gasoline in Dominica might be around EC$15.00 dollars or more.

      California USA Trend; Today: 4.382: 3.158: Yesterday: 4.392: 3.163: One Week Ago: 4.437: 3.179: One Month Ago: 4.347: 3.160: One Year Ago: 3.246: 2.186 * Average.

      That represents the highest and lowest octane!

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 22, 2021

    I suspect this is the beginning of another exist out of Dominica, the same as Ross University School of Medicine, and all those companies which left before!

    I suppose since Dominica’s main industry is the sale of the nations passports; all of the layoff workers will be employed by Roosevelt Skerrit: that little corrupted crook to sell Dominica passports to the worlds corrupted criminals; such as murderers; prostitutes; thieves hangman, and the worst of human scum!

    Hahahahahahahahahahahah!

    Reminder, when Ross Medical School left for Barbados; Ian Douglas called a meeting among all the Landlords owing Banks for money they borrowed to build apartments to housed students; and told them that he and government Roosevelt was going to take Ross to court to get compensation for their un-rented property.

    Ian said Ross Medical School was obligated to rent their apartments.

    How could these people allow Ian to talk such nonsense to them when, when Ross did not have a contract…

  3. Poor Gas
    August 22, 2021

    I remember speaking with the owner of a gas station, and while he did not tell me the price he pays for fuel from the distributor, he did inform me that all fuel prices were set by the government. The part that shocked me was when he said that with the amount that the government takes in taxes or fees, plus the cost of fuel from the distributor, gas station owners at the time were making less than $1.25 on each gallon sold. I thought he was telling an untruth, but in speaking with other owners, I learned that I had been told the truth. Government sets the price high, and charges a lot of taxes. We the consumers get shafted along with the station owner. In this terrible time of covid, cooking gas has gone up, petrol has gone up, and the huge minimum wage jump is about to come and cripple the economy. This is 2021 and we seem to be getting poorer rather than richer.

    • Ti Garcon
      August 23, 2021

      It’s actually 48cents for the service station. The govt fuel tax is about $3.50. On each gallon of fuel sold.

  4. How many?
    August 22, 2021

    DNO: Can you tell us how many employees will be laid off?

    ADMIN: We are still pursuing that information. At the time management did not close a figure and it is unclear as to exactly how many people actually received letters.

  5. Translation
    August 22, 2021

    If the co was losing money since 2016 then it was being poorly managed. Most will agree that this has to be regulations so something else has to be an issue for a co that has 9 stations around the island. Macmillan only has a couple and keeps employees, not a whole lot but stays afloat. CEO’s like to make big money while their businesses fail, that’s the price you pay in capitalism/free enterprise. Sell and move on.

  6. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    August 21, 2021

    Why is the Prime minister of Dominica also the minister of finance? The Minister of Finance should be a separate entity with no influence from the Prime Minister. That’s why there is so much corruption with Dominica finances the Prime Minister runs the country and also controls the money in the treasury, something is up with that. Who is watching the minister of finance? He is watching himself and there is no over sight by parliament or the courts so he can do what ever he wants with the peoples money and just say none of your damn business what i do with your money. No wonder Dominica is in dire straights the people need to wake up they are being taken for a ride. They have been riding for 20 years. They need to demand full accounting of their money from yours truly “Minister of Finance”.

    • VereTere
      August 23, 2021

      I give you 3 guesses. I bet you are going to get it in one.

  7. Roseau River
    August 21, 2021

    So we are about to have only 3-4 operational gas stations in DA? This issue needs to be rectified ASAP

  8. Mark
    August 21, 2021

    During your period of lay off, you will receive no pay but will still be an employee of Rubis. WHAT RUBBISH. How on God’s earth you’re not paying your employees and still expect them to be considered employees? This sort of nonsense only takes place in countries where companies have too much leverage.
    Rubis’ communication should have included more data, their losses per gallon so that the public could have gotten a better sense of the situation. The big question is: How were they able to operate at a loss since 2016? This sounds like incompetence to me since the price of oil was way down during some of that period (2016 _ 2020).

  9. a thinking person
    August 21, 2021

    That’s very sad. From information i receive All the fuel providers are losing money. NP,West indies oil and Rubis had several joint meetings with government. For obvious reason petro caribe was not in it since they would like the monopoly and to then stifle Dominicans with high prices. The ministry of trade acknowledged in the meeting the companies are making loses. In a country the government subsidize prices not the providers. Lets see if common sense will prevail since government has no jobs for the people that will go home

  10. Luca Spark
    August 21, 2021

    The evidence is growing. Dominica is not a real country under this leadership cabal.

  11. Ti Garcon
    August 21, 2021

    It is my understanding that the Government also owes Rubis tens of millions of dollars that was incurred during Maria and the last general elections, and this was a long time coming. This shutdown just sealed the deal as gas sales dropped, losses spiked, and there is no end to the lockdown in sight.
    That said this will be very damaging for our economy. Where are vehicle owners in the North gonna get fuel? Rubis owns most of the gas stations outside of Canefield/ Roseau!
    Also, Rubis is taking action but NP and West Indies has been feeling it too. They only make pennies on each gallon sold, which has to cover wages, insurance, site and equipment maintenance etc. With Skerrit just increasing minimum wage they will soon place pressure the government if they don’t cave into Rubis demands soon. This isn’t a simple ‘less competition more money’ scenario.
    And for those saying petro caribe will just take over- you fools! Venezuela can afford to give allu cheap gas?!

  12. a thinking person
    August 21, 2021

    Clarence christian you are an accountant and professional so i hope you ask the relevant authorities the right question. Yes the formula is same for everybody. And the three companies NP,West Indies Oil and Rubis have had joint meetings with government. You know Petro Caribe wont join because you should understand the politics behind what is going on and the intentions maybe to have government control everything. The ministry of trade acknowledged they are all losing money but refuse to do anything. When comes to fuel you know it is government who should subsidize price and not the providers and that is what is going on for years. do you think this should continue.

  13. So I Just See It
    August 21, 2021

    DNO, do better.
    Surely you can obtain the mandate or legislation that states that fuel companies should charge below acquisition cost? You should break it down and explain what it means, how long this “mandate” has been in place and how this effects or does not effect other fuel suppliers. Lastly, is this normal, does this mandate carry over in other islands and sectors?

    Do the work. It’s far too easy to just say you tried to contact the minister.

    I understand your limitations in covering all news. But focus on quality rather than quantity.

    ADMIN: After some research and contacting or attempting to contact the parties involved this was the available information (we believed relevant) at the time of publishing. As indicated in the article, we are still following this story.

    The amendments to the Supplies Control Petroleum products (Prices) legislation can be found here: http://www.dominica.gov.dm/laws-of-dominica?page=1

    However, without the agreement or other relevant details (which we are still pursuing) the legislation does not tell the full story.

  14. Xianglung
    August 20, 2021

    All hands on deck. Let us start now to sazzinay roosevelt skerrit.

  15. Ibo France
    August 20, 2021

    I’m waiting with bated breath to see how DLP diehards, witches and wizards will spin this one. They are such great spin doctors that they can spin top in mud, sand and cement.

    Even Labour ELEPHANT Lin Clown, tunnel vision Gary and Lizforsatan have acknowledged the gross incompetence of Skerrit’s kakistocracy I hope.

    • Da Passports
      August 21, 2021

      That’s their job, they’ll spin it for you just watch 👀

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      August 22, 2021

      lob, since Roosevelt is in the habit of giving foreigners billions of Dominica taxpayers money for free; not a loan, to build guess houses calling them hotels which remains empty year round!

      Don’t be surprise if they demand ten billion dollars from Roosevelt for the money they lost over the years; and that little bald-head hand it to them on a silver platter you know. 

    • Gary
      August 23, 2021

      It is easy to sit behind your computer and call people names, the work of an idle mind carries with it no responsibility and accountability, thoughts without fulfillment. I wonder if the Government had given into Rubin West Indies Ltd. in the prior years before this, what would the price at the pump for fuel now and what would the reaction of Dominicans. In politics, honesty is a causality., there is a saying, you damned if I do, damned if I don’t, is it not the responsibility of the Government to have in place some sort of regulation for the price of fuel at the pump, didn’t the people benefit and enjoyed a stable price.

      Governments and Businesses have always been at loggerhead when their interest are theartened and that is what is playing out before us. This is not something that can be fought and won in the public arena by dishonest political operatives like you and a threat from Rubin West Indies Ltd. negotiation the means to settlement

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        August 23, 2021

        “In politics, honesty is a causality.”( Gary).

        That above means the relationship between cause and effect; is also the principle that everything has a cause!

        Are you Ready for this Gary?

        Honesty means to be free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.
        Has Roosevelt been totally honest with you and the nation; would you believe a single word which comes out of Roosevelt’s mouth; I once did, nevertheless, he could not pay me enough to believe a singe word he speaks.

        And by the way feel free to call ma any kind of name you wish; call me thief, liar, dog, snake in the grass; hang man; even Roosevelt Skerrit incarnated I don’t care oui!

        I don’t think there could any derogatory name worst than Roosevelt Skerrit incarnated; since there is no one like him who is alive and has ever lived!

        De man is de devil eh!

        Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      • Ibo France
        August 23, 2021

        Your long rambling nonsense is like what we flush down the septic tank. There is the fittest place to put your posts. I’m sure yourself is confused by the utter absurdity you consistently write to pollute this forum.

        This business entity is allegedly owed millions by the government. This regime doesn’t like to pay its debts. After Hurricane Maria the citizens found out that Skerrit’s autocracy owed millions to CDB, UWI, Venezuela, US Universities, and local financial institutions.

        Another business entity bites the dust. Many more are on the edge of the precipice about to fall into the abyss. This what mismanagement does. Only the asinine supports this roguish grope of degenerates.

  16. Ibo France
    August 20, 2021

    Mr. Skerrit-DLP led despotic regimen is an economic wrecking ball. It has wrecked the banana industry; chased ROSS out the country; wiped out the once thriving Middle Class; turned farmers into paupers; killed local industries and replaced them with Chinese; now put the country’s economy in serious jeopardy.

    The coronavirus is no match for the destructive nature of Skerrit’s amateurish bureaucracy. .

  17. Just like that 😂
    August 20, 2021

    So in short Skerrit koolay Rubis? Is that what it is?

  18. Gregory
    August 20, 2021

    Under this labour’s party the most businesses closed down..yet the fools continue to put them in office ..what a bunch of people with no value.. the world is laughing at you people in Dominica.. bunch of fools with zero value

    • Ibo France
      August 22, 2021

      Yes, the fools continue to put them in office. Don’t ever forget to mention this though

      . This corrupt regime is in power today because it is aided by corrupt electoral officials; tear gas and brutality by a corrupt militia; massive importation of corrupt overseas voter; ,treating and chatting by the most corrupt regime in the Western Hemisphere with the tacit approval and support of the equally corrupt CARICOM member states.

      Look at the depressing and abysmal state of affairs in Dominica. The ruling DLP administration is expertly good at winning elections by corrupt practices but inexpertly bad at governing.

  19. SN
    August 20, 2021

    Government should not be in the business of setting prices. Let free market competition determine prices.

  20. Mano and Skerrit Laundromat inc
    August 20, 2021

    Don’t worry man Skerrit, Mano and bobbles will open their own gas station and it will be easier for Monfared to wire money to the Portsmouth account.

  21. Joke I joking
    August 20, 2021

    Skerrit might as well just extend his lockdown and curfew till December 31 because after all Dominicans already not working and look more people are threatened to go home. So our first aid workers will get sufficient rest and enough time to spend with their family. Is a culture of lies and hypocrisy he has already put us in in the name of Covid protection and we there taking all his bull poopoo

  22. Rubis & Diamond
    August 20, 2021

    For those of you who didn’t know, cars can run on Kerosene. And that means, no one will be able to drive close to you or overtake you. You’ll be traveling in a cloud. Seriously! I’ve tried it. But the next day the engine had to be worked on for rings and piston issues. :lol: :lol:

  23. Go to Hell
    August 20, 2021

    Skerrit has put Dominica in such a dark deep hole that only hell is darker than. But then again he had already told us to go to hell but we didn’t realize he was going to put us in hell. Folks Dominica is in very, very serious trouble that I don’t even think we can get out of any time soon

  24. Rubis & Diamond
    August 20, 2021

    The people got rid of trump, so there’s plenty hope for Dominica. But Skeritt is creating a huge mess for the Honorable Lennox Linton once he becomes Dominica’s long awaited Prime Minister. There will be so much cleaning of Skeritt mess, that Linton’s head will be white in his first month in office. From jobs, immigration, illegal entry, voting regulations, police reform, infrastructure, Covid virus and giving people the choice for vaccine, pay increases for school teachers and nurses, restoring the dignity and respect of our beloved country Dominica, etc., I can hardly wait to be proud of my country again. By the help of God we will get rid of this Demagogue pm. We need a change. Put regulations on the Chinese and all foreigners who think they own our country and won’t abide by our laws. Let’s get things straightened out in Dominica. Get ready Sir. Linton. If you mess up I’ll be the first one to help get you out.

  25. Rubis & Diamond
    August 20, 2021

    I always remember that lady who said, “Dominicans will suck salt.” She knew what she was talking about, because apparently she must have gotten it from the “horse’s mouth.” That salt is mingled with Pima ma jack. Skeritt is the worst thing that has happened to Dominica.

    • Bwa-Banday
      August 20, 2021

      I second the motion …..and as a result we must unite to give him the boot. :twisted: :twisted:

      • Centipede
        August 22, 2021

        It’s time he get all of my boots in the donkey

    • Salt I sucking
      August 20, 2021

      Oh yes. You said it just right. Skerrit has Dominicans susaying salt, pema-jak and garlick

  26. Toto
    August 20, 2021

    That’s it folks. Now the government will have the monopoly on fuel thanks to its Petrocarib and its own petroleum company set up. More profit for the boys, not so Reggie?

  27. Ibo France
    August 20, 2021

    Rubs West Indies Limited Dominica is yet another of the long list of casualties of Skerrit’s flawed economic policies. The economy continues to bleed jobs unabated.

    The operatives of DLP will be quick and happy to blame the present pandemic. However, as clearly stated by management, the company has been operating at a loss since 2016. Something tells me that they (DLP) will concoct a story to blame Mr. Linton and the UWP for this sad story. This is not farfetched.

    Mr. Skerrit is the Minister of Finance. He has absolutely no formal training nor education in this field. He has handpicked (not the delegates, no convention) all the members of his cabinet. These chosen disciples are all invertebrates. They cannot stand up to Mr. Skerrit for they have no spine.

    The country is a FAILED STATE tethering near complete economic collapse. If people were to stop purchasing economic citizenship that would be the total and complete collapse of Dominica.

    • ooo boy
      August 20, 2021

      When the government let them have their way is people like you who will be crying about there is no price control. I refuse to believe that this company has been selling fuel lower than it purchases, pay all of its employees and expenses since 2016. I smell fish.

      • Ibo France
        August 22, 2021

        The 4.2 billion dollars in overseas accounts have me smelling fish. The $90 000 combined monthly expenditure from the treasury for Skerrit and his uneducated wife has me smelling fish. The dilapidated public library and other crumbling public buildings have me smelling fish.

        This fish rots from the head as normal. Time to ‘sever’ its head and dispose of its body.

      • ......
        August 23, 2021

        Clearly, you know nothing about the price build up done by the Ministry of Trade to determine the price per gallon. The main issue is that it does not factor in the operating cost of a business. So in essence every fuel supplier on island, whether it is Gas/diesel or LPG are struggling financially.

    • Greg
      August 21, 2021

      @Ibo France, many of your comments/views start with information that seems acceptable or satisfactory and can be instructive to unbiased readers like myself, but often, you bring in examples, comments, and supporting information that take away from your contributions thus causing us to dismiss you as being dustructively critical.

      Today is a case in point, your view that “If people were to stop purchasing economic citizenship that would be the total and complete collapse of Dominica”. While this statement is true, it is not unique to our economy, Dominica and / or the present government; this is a fundamental, universal fact. If the main revenue stream(s) of any economy (or business for that matter) were to be adversely affected there will be a negative impact /result / consequence. So, for me, inclusion of that piece just spoilt the mode of your contribution.

      • Ibo France
        August 23, 2021

        Greg, put your cerebellum to good use. . This is my point. The economy of Dominica is too dependent on the sales of passports. This is not a sustainable ‘industry’. It can fail spectacularly at anytime.

        My advice is to diversify the economy (agriculture, agro-processing, light manufacturing, technology, service industries,, health tourism, fishing, etc.).

        Having the sale of passport as the main money earner for any country is grossly irresponsible and preposterous. It’s like building your house on a sandy beach during low tide. At any moment it can be washed away. Why can’t you see that is where I’m coming from? Do I have to be so detailed for you to understand?

    • August 23, 2021

      What training does Mr. Lennox Linton have? What is his field of expertise? Why is Rubis not making money? Typical UWP SUPPORTS, once anything bad happens to Dominica they rejoice, no concern for the workers that will be affected. Wicked bunch.

  28. %
    August 20, 2021

    According to the article “”the current regulated price in Dominica mandated by the Ministry of Trade, requires that Rubis sells fuel below its acquisition cost…..””. Really? Well this does not make any economic or business sense to me…How has Rubis survived for so long under those circumstances? Guess it’s different in the other Caribbean islands where Rubis operates, so you were absorbing the loss???. It would be interesting to know how much dollars($$$$) the government of Dominica earns from every gallon of fuel sold, compared to the other islands, and if they, the DLP REGIME, cannot for the sake of the employees settle on something less ($$$$$)..
    If Rubis is forced to close, this will again have a deleterious impact on unemployment, and one of the impact could be social ills in society. It’s very imperative that the “cannot do” DLP regime meet with Rubis half way and solve this looming disaster!!!
    People need jobs in Dominica, not handouts!!!

    • Bwa-Banday
      August 20, 2021

      :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: According to the article “”the current regulated price in Dominica mandated by the Ministry of Trade, requires that Rubis sells fuel below its acquisition cost…..””. Really? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

      You see, they have been losing money since before the election but remain moo moo because they thought the opposition would use it for milage against the Dictator. I ask myself where is all the money that was going around at fuel stations for campaign buses? I’m assuming that it ran out and you all continued to give qwadee to the most high Dictator. Now allu bonda-bweelay all u sending people home.

      If I was the dictator I would send the manitou gang and Molly -the-donkey gangster snipers to force Rubis to remain open even if is peepee that coming from the pumps.

  29. Dañarona
    August 20, 2021

    Labour ka twavay!
    Leadership is everything !
    Skerrit still the one!
    Ross left
    Guiyave closed ( To name a few recent ones)
    Non esentential businesses are shut down (covid)
    Go to hell! According to our dear supreme leader.
    Be well friends.

  30. Soliel
    August 20, 2021

    This was long coming and maybe the beginning of things to come as persons in position continue to make decisions not base on law but on their own fancies. Next in the same vein will be LPG, Like petrol they are govern by the same regulation “Supplies control Act” which gives the minister the right to set regulated prices but ensuring that the importer acquisition landed cost is taken in consideration in the calculation the landed cost. Oh no! what is use is a 6-8 weeks platts weekly average world posted price (which has nothing to do with the acquisition cost of the importer) For that matter world oil prices are so volatile (ups and down) that in an environment where world market prices are ever increasing the importer will have to have a serious reserve to sustain the loss. invariably when the world market price decreases the reverse happens but that is seldom rather than what should prices be base on the importer landed cost: otherwise the state should be sole importer. LPG is…

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