Agriculture Minister confirms workers to be sent home

Monday, May 16, 2016 - 20:00

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Clarence Rambharat has confirmed that his Ministry is about to send home workers and says it was because the former regime hired more people than necessary.

CNC3 Digital reported exclusively on Monday that a memo was sent by the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Joy Persad-Myers to the Director of Surveys, instructing that termination letters be sent to list of casual and regular daily paid workers.

Minister Rambharat responded via a Facebook post today.

"I have seen various reports on the proposed reduction in the number of casual workers employed in the Ministry's Land and Surveys Department," he said.

"I have spoken on many occasions about the need to hire competent and qualified technical staff into positions within the Ministry, particularly the Land function of the Ministry.

"In the 2014/15 period, an excessive number of daily-paid, casual employees were employed in the former Lands Ministry. These are not permanent workers. These are workers engaged, as required.

"There is not sufficient work in the Lands and Surveys Department of the Ministry's Land Management Division, to sustain such a large, casual, labour force, at a time when the Division requires more qualified persons.

"On that basis the Ministry is seeking, in accordance with existing internal arrangements and the law, to reduce this part of the workforce in the Lands and Surveys Department and, at the same time, employ qualified persons on contract in the required technical areas.

"The reduction in the number of casual workers at the Lands and Surveys Department is still under discussion.

"Nothing will be done without the required consultations, including discussions with the Ministry of Labour, where required."