Some 300 employees employed by Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil) are “sitting in” after being notified by the company that they will not receive bonuses or salary increases this year.
The employees are represented by the Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU) which has been in discussions with the company since July about salary and bonus increases.
“It’s not a strike, it’s an industrial action. They came to work and they’re down equipment, he sits in, ”CCWU President Sherwood Clarke told the Newsroom on Wednesday.
How long the industrial action will last is unknown.
GuyOil’s new General Manager Trevor Bassoo told the Newsroom that the matter was in the hands of the Chief Labor Officer.
The Union President said they are open to engagement and are also asking the Board to come to the table and bargain with the union and resolve this issue.
“We have been negotiating since July 2020 and all fringe benefits have been agreed. The proposal on the table for an appraisal system was 8 percent or 5 percent overall and the Union was called in December, 18, and was told there will be zero percent and zero bonus payments, “Clarke explained.
According to the Clarke, the company claims that because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have some financial obstacles.
“Based on the financial records of the Guyana Oil Company, they declared a profit of $ 2.9B and have a very healthy fund so I do not understand the justification and logic of the claim,” Clarke noted.
In the meantime, after the change in government and a new board of directors installed, it held an extraordinary meeting in September and discussed these issues.
According to Clarke, the Board decided they would use the 8 percent appraisal system and that there would be an overall bonus for employees.
“The 8 per cent appraisal didn’t come out of the air; it comes out of the company’s financial budget that they would pay 8 percent whether they used it in general or appraisal, “Clarke said.