Nov 22, 2019 Letters
The loss of 375 jobs at Troy Resources is the direct fault of the APNU/AFC government. It is not surprising that they were ‘surprised’ by the action of the company to permanently lay off the workers.
APNU/AFC Ministers have not grasped the concept of ‘actions have consequences’, when Keith Scott capriciously ordered “cessation of all mining activities with immediate effect until further notice” following the tragic death of Geologist Ryan Taylor, and Raphael Trotman’s staff said “The Minister has since instructed the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to begin making the necessary preparations for a thorough investigation of the matter. A report is to be compiled and submitted upon completion.
In the interim, all work in the area of construction has been ordered ceased, pending the investigation.”
A chain of events began that led to the loss of jobs. Had the Ministers not interfered directly and allowed the company to follow established protocols, those 375 people would be gainfully employed today.
The normal procedure following a fatal incident at a mining site is to cordon off the area of the incident; this was done by the company. What should have followed was a thorough investigation by various government agencies with the assistance of the company, then and only then, should orders and statements be issued by the government.
Consider the effect of Minister Scott’s statements – in his letter shutting down all work – on share prices and investor confidence “An officer of the Ministry’s Occupational Safety and Health Department has conducted a preliminary investigation which has determined that there is need for further inquiry, particularly in relation to Larkin and Smarts Three,” and “This decision is taken with the utmost concern for the safety and lives of the most valued resource which is our human resource – managerial and non-managerial alike”. Consider also the legal implications for the company and its management staff.
One week after Scott issued his ‘Cease order’, Scott’s Senior, Amna Ally issued a revocation, no explanation or correction accompanied her order. Minister Ally’s ignorance of protocols had her believing that she could act with impunity, and issue decrees, the reality, however, is that once a ‘cease order’ involving a fatality has been issued, it can only be lifted by the Commissioner of GGMC, who has the sole authority to do so, and then, only after an investigation has been completed and the report submitted and reviewed.
The GGMC issued a clearance to resume activities to Troy on the 8th of November. By then it would seem that the financial hole had become too big for the company to extricate itself easily.
This is but one example of the Granger administration’s maladroit handling of a situation that ended with the loss of jobs. The closure of the Call Centre in Linden, where 90 persons lost their livelihoods, is another, as well as the closure of the sugar estates which saw 7,000 people become unemployed in one callous stroke of the pen.
Unthinking and uncaring are two well-known characteristics of Granger and cabal. Elections are on the 2nd of March 2019.
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