Workers at another state-owned corporation face retrenchment under the 19-month old government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Informed trade union officials told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that Public Utilities Minister, Gregory Bowen last week met with workers at the Grenada Postal Corporation (GPC) to officially notify them that retrenchment was coming their way shortly.
A senior union official who asked not to be named said that Minister Bowen and his party delivered the retrenchment message to the workers but did not take any questions from them.
He spoke of the senior minister in the ruling New National Party (NNP) government indicating that the Postal Corporation was losing a lot of money in its operations and the wage bill will have to be cut in order to address the financial problems affecting GPC.
He said there were a number of sorry-looking faces in the audience as Minister Bowen brought the grim news to GPC employees.
A similar message of retrenchment was delivered by Minister Bowen last week to workers at another state-owned body – Gravel, Concrete & Emulsion Production Corporation at Mon Rush overlooking the stadium at Queen’s Park.
Minister Bowen told the workers that Gravel & Concrete was in dire financial straits and some workers will have to be sent home in order to save on thousands of dollars in salaries.
This newspaper was not able to contact the Manager of GPC, Phillip Gittens, as well as President of the Public Workers Union (PWU), Adrian Francis for comment on the impending retrenchment at the Post Office.
A secretary at GPC said that Gittens was on “leave” while an employee at the Houses of Parliament where Francis is employed said that he was “out”.
During the campaign for the February 2013 general elections in which the NNP won all 15 seats at the polls, the party promised to create thousands of new jobs for Grenadians under a much-talked about plan to build a new economy for the island.
The Mitchell-led party wooed the electorate with promises of several investors who were already “lined-up” waiting to come into the country to invest once the Congress administration of Tillman Thomas was voted out of office.
Instead of job creation, the population has been hit by a series of austerity measures including tax increases and a lowering of the income tax threshold to bolster government revenue intake as part of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) arrangement worked out with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Grenada’s financial problems are further compounded by the fact that the new regime has defaulted on debt payments to a number of international creditors especially in the major Western industrialised nations.
The cash-strapped Mitchell-led government is carrying a national debt of EC$2.4 billion.