The St Lucy-based Arawak Cement Company today formally offered its staff voluntary separation packages as part of its financial and operational restructuring programme started in October last year.
Sources close to the company told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that management met with the workers today to make the offer and gave them until Thursday next week to respond.
In September this year, the company had issued a statement which said that Arawak would offer voluntary separation packages because the first phase of the restructuring had not yielded the results necessary to attain profitability and competitiveness.
“This is due to the unfavorable economic conditions globally and in the region, that regrettably make it necessary to further reduce costs in all areas of our operations. With significant excess cement capacity in the region and highly competitive price sensitive markets, cost reduction is vital for Arawak to return to profitability and improve competitiveness in this market and grow export in the region.” the statement said then. Arawak said at the time severance would be done in accordance with the collective agreements with the Barbados Workers Union and the National Union of Public Workers.
The company cited the cost of energy and labour – which it said were significantly higher than regional competitors – combined with a slowdown of the construction sector worldwide, as two of the key factors that have challenged the business in Barbados.
It was no immediately clear up to the time of publication, how many workers were offered packages or the content of those packages.