February 29th is the new date set for retrenchment of workers at the state-run Grenada Postal Corporation (GPC).
Over 100 Workers were told months ago that they would be sent home with effect from December 31, 2015.
THE NEW TODAY was informed that the workers were seen on the job Monday, the first working day of the New Year.
This newspaper contacted Grievance Officer of the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union, Trevor Xavier (GTAWU), the bargaining agents for most of GPC employees to seek clarification on the matter.
Xavier said one of the reasons for the change in the December 31st date to February 29th could be that the three months notice mark was not previously acknowledged by the Postal Corporation.
He said there is a three months notice requirement in the contract between GPC and the Unions for retrenchment of workers.
If this was not done, he said, “Government would have to pay them in lieu of the official notice.”
Additionally, Xavier pointed to another possible reason for the workers still being on the job was house-keeping matters as internally the Post Office might be clarifying the packages for the workers earmarked for retrenchment.
The union official was unable to disclose what the workers will be receiving as the bargaining agents – TAWU and the Public Workers Union – are awaiting the signing of the documents.
This is the third time government has given the unions different date for the retrenchment of over 130 employees – the first being September 30 and the second December 31.
The Postal Corporation is in dire financial straits and classified as a major-loss making statutory body.
The revamping of the entity is Government’s way of tackling a cash flow problem that the entity has been facing for a number of years.
GPC has been losing business to courier services like DHL and FedEx and is struggling to stay afloat financially for years.
Works Minister, Gregory Bowen has announced that the Post Office was forced to utilise approximately one million dollars of the funds collected for Customs Department and used it to pay employees and keep its services running over a five year period.
A study done on state-run bodies by an arm of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended the revamping of GPC as part of Grenada’s Structural Adjustment Programme.