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Ministry to intervene in sugar factory industrial dispute

Posted: April 5, 2012

There are calls for the Labour Ministry to intervene in a dispute over reports that about 60 workers will lose their jobs at the Frome Sugar Factory in Westmoreland.

The disputing parties are the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and Pan Caribbean Sugar Company which operates the factory.

The BITU is claiming that the redundancy letters have been issued to managerial, supervisory, technical and clerical staff at Frome.

It adds, that the workers have been given a 30-day notice of the redundancy, scheduled to take effect month end.

BITU's Assistant Island Supervisor in charge of the agriculture sector, Harold Brown, says the union interprets the action as a violation of the labour relations.

Mr Brown notes, that the union has written to the permanent secretary in the ministry of labour Alvin Mcintosh, asking for its intervention to avoid industrial action which could affect the 2011/2012 sugar crop.

Pan Caribbean was formed by Chinese firm Complant in 2011 to operate the three sugar factories it bought from the government.

The factories are Frome, Bernard Lodge and Monymusk.

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