Partial view of SRC workers at the meeting and some SAWU officials looking very worry about the company decision In the wake of global economic crisis, the management of the Salala Rubber Cooperation or SRC in Weala,Margibi County has threatened to halt operations by June 2016 if 148 employees listed for downsizing resist the decision.
The president of the Salala Agricultural Workers Union or SWAU, Anthony O. Moses, made the disclosure in a mass meeting held recently in Camp #4 in the plantation attended by over 100 of the company’s approximately 1000 employees.
Among the 148 employees to be sacked include 28 tappers, 2 headmen, 2 clerks and 9 nursery workers as well as others assigned with the SRC’s extension program. Mr. Moses boldly told his colleagues during the meeting, management hadearlier informed officials of SAWU in a meeting if the workers could not see the economic reality in the country and cooperate with the decision to redundant 148 of them, the company would have no other option but to shutdown in June.
He said though the number 148 was proposed by the company, but they as leaders of the workers are holding series of meetings with management to ensure that the matter is amicably resolved.
Inside sources hinted this paper management has seriously attributed the current exercise to low price for rubber on the world market and high cost of materials used to produce the rubber such as acid,
tapping knife, and rubber cups, amongst other constraints.
Salala Rubber Corporation’s decision to sack 148 employees or cease operations by June is just one of drastic measures being taken by concession companies in the country to fan off biting economic realities.
Recently, the steel giant ArcelorMittal dismissed 169 employees followed by the Chinese mining company, China Union, which reportedly layoff huge number of staff, including nurses, while the Russian-owned Putu Mining Company has ceased operations here and left the country.
According to the inside sources, amidst the current challenges, management continues to bring expatriates in the country and pay them huge sum of money monthly, adding this is one of the causes for the financial crisis being faced by the company.
SAWU president Moses said some people are flourishing in the company while others are down.
In a recent inaugural address after winning a third term in office on white ballot, he claimed some economic criminals were in the employ of the company.
Meanwhile, during the meeting, some workers suggested that management should pay off the entire workforce and shut down while others said the company should maintain all employees, but cut salaries pay by fifty percent and yet still some said management should payoff long serving or aging employees and redundant them or reduce the number of highest paid staff.
Still, some of the workers suggested local officials in the county and the central government should see reasons to subsidize the management in order to avoid people losing jobs.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Edited by Jonathan Browne