The Management of Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc. or GVL, says it is currently rationalizing its workforce and implementing a redundancy exercise, affecting 250 employees.
Management says the exercise is due to numerous economic challenges the Company has been facing over the years and prolonged global economic downturn exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement issued here Monday by the Company further states that the decision is to ensure the continuity of its business in Liberia, indicating that the exercise affects various departments: “the company has been implementing cost control measures to ensure our business is able to survive the economic downturn conditions and adapt to the changing global business market”.
“The reduction of workforce that is in full consultation with the affected workers, the workers’ union and the Ministry of Labor becomes necessary to sustain”, it reads. GVL also clarifies that about 52% of the number of workers to be redundant voluntarily had asked Management to pay them off, citing many reasons, including family problems, pursuing further studies, amongst others.
Management says it has concluded communications with the Ministry of Labor, related government institutions, union, community representatives and the affected employees, noting that effort has been made to ensure that the process follows the laws and regulations of Liberia which include the Liberia Decent Work Act of 2015 and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Golden Veroleum Agriculture Workers’ Union of Liberia (GOVAWUL)
The release added that in keeping with the Company’s development plans, it has been employing, training and preparing employees for deployment as it expands. However, it has not been able to expanding the past four years, while continuing to pay salaries for non-deployed employees, which cost unable any more.
The statement notes that GVL’s growth plans have been affected initially by land issues and most recently the coronavirus pandemic which has forced many companies in Liberia and elsewhere to reduce cost or close down. The Company says regardless of the current challenges, it may still continue to employ workers in certain area beyond its requirement for the current operations, but that in order for the company to move forward, it needs to rationalize the current workforce.
Despite the economic challenges, Management discloses that it is in the process of constructing a joint venture Golden Sifca Inc. to operate an oil palm processing mill in Maryland County to help overcome the constraints of transporting fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from its plantations in Grand Kru County to its current Tarjuowon Mill in Sinoe County.
The statement continues that employees who are affected by this redundancy exercise will be provided with the appropriate severance package in keeping with applicable Laws of Liberia and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Golden Veroleum Agriculture Workers’ Union of Liberia (GOVAWUL), while affirming that when the Company’s financial and economic status improves in future, employees who are affected by this redundancy may be prioritized for re-employment, taking into account skill, capability and productivity requirements.
The Management of Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc. says keeping the company operating will enable it to continue to contribute to the Liberian economy through government taxes, salaries and local purchases, noting that to date, it has also spent over $20 million in providing free education, healthcare, housing, security support and other corporate social responsibility activities at local, county and national levels. Statement