Jun 13, 2015 News
… after contractor faces cash crunch
A section of the East Bank Demerara four-lane highway is facing major delays with the contractor in trouble.
Several staffers have since been sent home with a number of them complaining to
the Ministry of Labour that they want their benefits and severance pay.
Yesterday, an official of Dipcon Engineering Services, of Coldingen, East Coast Demerara, confirmed that there are delays in the road works. Limited activities are ongoing.
He said that the company is engaging the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for a possible resolution.
The official who said scaling down the workforce is normal with any construction company as the work winds down, said that talks are ongoing with the Ministry of Labour and the workers’ union, the Guyana Labour Union.
The problems with Dipcon were mainly from the rising costs of materials and delays in the removals of utilities from the area, leaving the company in a cash situation.
The company has admitted to owing the National Insurance Scheme and the Guyana Revenue Authority. Discussions are underway to resolve the indebtedness.
Dipcon had been awarded Phase One of the four-lane extension from Providence to Covent Garden. While the other sections are virtually completed, Dipcon’s part is the one worrying the Ministry.
The company is stuck at a bridge-widening part in an area linking Providence and Herstelling.
It is unclear what happens now as Dipcon also has a contract on a section of the East Coast Demerara for the four-lane continuation up to Mon Repos.
A section of the works, in the vicinity of Herstelling, has been handed to another contractor, Gaico Construction, to help speed up works.
A number of workers turned up at Kaieteur News yesterday claiming that they have filed complaints with the Ministry of Labour asking for intervention.
According to Russel Daniel, he has been working for three years as a checker. On Tuesday, after a few days’ leave, he returned to work and was told his services would be terminated and that he would be getting his two weeks’ pay on July 17.
Daniel said that there was no mention of severance pay so he refused the letter terminating his services. He said that about 30 employees are being sent home.
The story was the same for Eon Sancho and Lorana Hicks, Shiv Narine and Jermaine Narine.
The workers said that they all have families and expenses.
The US$20M East Bank four-lane extension has been dragging on for a number of years. It faced several delays, failing to meet one deadline after the next.
The roadway is the main link to Essequibo, the Timehri Airport and Linden, a main gateway to the hinterland communities.
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