THE positions of more than 200 employees of the Bernard Lodge sugar estate in St Catherine are to be made redundant this week, the Jamaica Observer has learnt.
The redundancies were scheduled to take effect yesterday, a decision relayed to trade unions representing the workers at a meeting with representatives of Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC) on December 5.
Pan Caribbean — the Chinese firm which in 2011 took control of Jamaica’s main sugar factories in Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge Estate — informed the unions of its decision to move into a new management arrangement with an unnamed Westmoreland firm by year-end.
The company said that 215 workers would be made redundant on December 17, and that notice and redundancy payments would be made to them on Monday, December 22.
But, according to Harold Brown, assistant island supervisor of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), since that meeting the unions’ consultations have led to some “serious” reservations about PCSC’s real intentions.
He said in light of that, the unions have called on Pan Caribbean to put the redundancies on hold until the issues are resolved.
Brown said the unions are concerned that given the terms and conditions of PCSC’s lease agreement with the Government for sugar lands at Bernard Lodge Estate, the unions have not confirmed that the Jamaican Government has consented to any form of divestment at Bernard Lodge. Additionally, he said that unions have been reliably informed that PCSC had not received approval from the Sugar Company of Jamaica’s Holdings to divest the operations.
The unions — the BITU, the University and Allied Workers’ Union, and the National Workers’ Union — have told Pan Caribbean that they are ready to meet with its representatives, again, to resume discussions on the issues.
Pan Caribbean has said that it will be establishing 3,000 additional hectares of sugar cane at Monymusk,Clarendon, where its sugar lands are said to be underutilised. The Pan Caribbean head office at Bernard Lodge is also expected to move to Monymusk.
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  1. I honestly cannot read the entire article after seeing “UNDER NEW CHINESE MANAGEMENT” the Chinese firm which in 2011 took control of Jamaica‚Äôs main sugar factories in Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge Estate.
    While we kill each other like animals! Kill OUR OWN PEOPLE That are Business men and women in Jamaica, Our ancestors who FOUGHT For Our independence! MY GOD. Our own Jamaican GOVERNMENT IS SOME BIG P HOLE WHO DESTROY OUR ISLAND AND LET FARRIN PEOPLE COME OWN ALMOST EVERYTHING JUST BECAUSE OF GREEED.

    1. Is just di beginning missis. All it takes is a few hundred years fi tings change. Dats why as much as di crime in JA and all, mi tecking mi black self guh back and invest in mi nation yah. Nah meck mi ancestors layba and suffaration guh into smaddy else wah nebba feel di pain. Nah siddung meck smaddy else waltz een teck mi inheritance.
      I cosign your comment 100%

  2. hmm,mm.Yes Jah, u see and know seh errybody tek wi likkl island people dem as one piece a cunumunues..While di government continue to sell out and off

  3. The Government run Sugar Industry has been inefficient for years due to underinvestment in infrastructure, poor uneducated/undereducated field/factory workers put there for political reasons and a set of leeches that claim to be advocates for the industry.
    Did the Jamaican Government really believe that when the Chinese took over they would keep the workers that burn down the fields whenever they have an disagreement with management and are backed by thugs that call themselves union leaders?
    Mechanization allows the owners to make greater returns on investment. Additionally they have less to do with the union and their foolishness. The Jamaican Government needs to realise they are the only people that will put up money into inefficient/unprofitable ventures (like Outameni). So if they want a feeding tree they should not divest.

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