– Region 10 Chairman stands by story
Bai Shan Lin has sought to debunk allegations that it has an employment ratio of 70 percent Asians to 30 Percent Guyanese, and that the company has been paying the few locals it employs as little as $500 per day.
The company sent out a statement which sought to explain that the salary scheme is divided into three parts: interior, office/clerical and contracted.
According to the company, for interior, most of the Guyanese employed are paid based on performance, “the more you have worked, the more you will earn.”
Below is an extract from the statement:
“…Such as, truck drivers, the more trips a drive makes, a higher salary will be earned. For inventory staff, the higher amounts of inventory of blocks, a higher salary will be earned. For heavy machinery operators, the more cubic meter of logs skidded; a higher salary will be earned. However, most of Bai Shan Lin salaries for interior staff are more than 60,000 Guyana dollars per month. For office/clerical, Bai Shan Lin has different categories; Cleaner, Supervisor, Manager, Deputy General Manager, Finance Controller, Managing Director etc. But the minimum salary for the above mentioned position is at least 60,000 Guyana dollars per month.
For contracting, Bai Shan Lin has the consultant doing ESIA (Environmental Social Impact Assessment) for inventory blocks. However, those who are working for the contractors, mostly the contractor is responsible for their salary, this also will be more than 60,000 Guyana dollars per month.”
The company said that it has 51 non-Guyanese and 151 Guyanese employees.
This will amount to 202 staff members employed with the company overall.
But in January 2013, Bai Shan Lin Forest Development Inc. advertised for 700 Guyanese workers.
In advertisements in the media, Bai Shan Lin said that it had vacancies for 220 factory construction workers, 80 skilled chain-saw operators, 80 semi-skilled chain-saw operators, 30 bulldozer operators, 35 loading truck drivers, 60 dump truck drivers, two excavator and grader operators, 60 logging truck drivers, 20 container truck drivers, 10 mechanics, 10 servicemen, 13 cooks and 80 inventory clerks.
Kaieteur News was told that the company generally has a policy to give Asian nationals first preference at employment and from all indications, there are enough Asian nationals residing in Guyana to facilitate the elimination of Guyanese workers on any project the Asians embark upon.
Bai Shan Lin has a known presence at Moblissa, Coomacka, Bamia, Kwakwani and Ituni.
This newspaper has been able to verify that at the Coomacka and Bamia locations.
Region Ten Chairman, Sharma Solomon, had said that some workers attached to Bai Shan Lin, have been frequenting the Office of the Regional Democratic Council complaining of the way the company has been violating their rights.
The Chairman said that workers have been lamenting the conditions they work under. They have also been complaining of bad treatment and poor payment.
Solomon said, Bai Shan Lin have workers on payroll who are being paid as little as $500 a day. He said these complaints have been coming mostly from those working at Coomacka and Bamia.
When contacted yesterday, Solomon told this newspaper that he saw the statement and noticed that the company did not reject what he said.
“I highlighted that the company has been paying locals as little as $500 a day. I spoke about the conditions under which my fellow Guyanese have to work and the treatment they are dealt. I spoke about the treatment towards communities such as Moblissa… there is nothing we said that they dispute.
Solomon also pointed to the incomplete Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and said that Bai Shan Lin “nor those speaking on behalf of Bai Shan Lin, can say that the Region, on behalf of the people, is not making legitimate and objective concerns. And you know that we have every right to do so.”
The Chairman said that all citizens should be concerned “and that they have every right to be” when Bi Shan Lin moves to disrupt the lives of people without notice.
“Are we being told that we are not allowed to or shouldn’t raise legitimate concerns about the livelihood of our people? Are we without reason to do so?,” asked Solomon.
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