Banks Holding Limited (BHL) is placing 48 employees on the breadline, six months after the local brewery was acquired by AB InBev, a subsidiary of Brazilian company AmBev.
Chief Executive Officer Richard Cozier said retrenching the workers was a “difficult” decision but a necessary element of the company’s integration and alignment processes, which positions the group and its employees for growth.
“In these initial stages of integration, decisions which are difficult will have to be made,” he said.
“As we have always done at BHL, for those members of our team who will be affected, we will adhere to human resource best practice and the labour laws of Barbados. Within AB InBEV and certainly within BHL, there is a strong focus on people and we will take all necessary steps to ensure that affected employees have access to the best support systems to assist them in transitioning in as seamless a way as possible.”
Those to be terminated are from the company’s business unit and Cozier stressed that all staff were made aware of the retrenchment during a recent group-wide staff meeting.
The BHL CEO said in addition to alignment with the parent company, the entire integration exercise would take full advantage of synergies between the two organizations and introduce new processes and systems necessary to drive the group’s profitability.
He added that a positive feature of the acquisition had been the creation of several new positions in past weeks, all of which had been filled internally.
“BHL is now part of a global, multi-national company and so the advantages associated with this are numerous,” he said.
“This is one of those instances where things will get difficult before they get better but when they get better there will be plenty of opportunities now only for employees who remain after the restructuring exercise but other Barbadians in the labour force to possibly fill regional positions within Ambev,” he said.
Last December Ambev was successful in acquiring BHL following a ding-dong bidding battle with Trinidad conglomerate Ansa McAl (Barbados) Limited.
When the takeover bid first became public knowledge in early October Ambev’s Vice President for Central America and the Caribbean Edwardo Lacerda told Barbados TODAY at the time that the intention was to have BHL reach its full potential while earning Barbados more foreign exchange through increased production and export.
He also urged Barbadians to see the move as one that could only be good “for the population and for employees”.