You Are Fired
There is something very strange which has started to unfold in Barbados and around the Caribbean in recent weeks. Many of our leading and PROFITABLE companies have been sending home workers. The reasons being given vary from the rising cost of raw materials and services to the need to restructure to face the challenges which the current global economic recession is expected to levy on our small and open economies. The fact that Barbados according to local analysts has not yet had to face the brunt of the global recession makes the retrenchment decisions of some of our PROFITABLE companies distasteful.
Trinidad based One Caribbean Media (OCM) hurriedly dismissed 20+ workers from the Nation Group of Companies in Barbados days after declaring a profitable 2008 which EXCEEDED 2007. Sagicor insurance company which is one of the DOW companies of the Caribbean ditched 40+ with a promise of more to follow. Again Sagicor is a company with a healthy profit trend over the years.
Could it be that we sense some momentum among some of our leading and PROFITABLE companies showing the courage to dismiss people at this time? Courts Barbados announced last week the closure of a store and more than hinted that some employees will be sent packing. Barbados Public Workers Credit Union has taken the opportunity to sever some of their seasoned employees. God forbid that the murmuring of First Caribbean Bank sending home employees as a result of a restructure should occur. Fellow blogger Living In Barbados will probably say I told you so. On a previous blog he (Livinginbarbados) expressed scepticism that the social partnership which has worked well for Barbados in the pass will struggle in the current economic conditions as individual companies engage in protectionists measure to maintain/protect shareholder value.
We sense that many of our Pan-Caribbean and national companies are following the US approach to managing their companies by the numbers. In other words it is important to maintain or exceed prior year profits even if it means ditching employees to cut payroll cost. Bear in mind that our comment targets profitable companies. It borders on criminal that PROFITABLE companies would cut loyal employees who would have contributed to the success of these companies. Although it is any company’s right to manage the business as the owners see fit is it naive to expect that successful companies by operating as good corporate citizens would want reward loyalty? Have we not been taught that the human resource is considered the greatest asset of any company? Why would profitable companies in Barbados and in the Caribbean rush in indecent haste to dismiss employees? Over the years when the times were good would it not have been caring for those PROFITABLE companies to set aside a reserve to provide for employees in less profitable times like now?
Maybe the time has come for Barbadians and the government of Barbados to support those companies which show loyalty to the PEOPLE.