300 BEV shrimp processing workers on the breadline

first_img…as company closes operationsWith thousands of former sugar workers continuing to face challenges to find consistent employment, another sector will see some 300 employees without employment as the BEV Enterprises shrimp facility is shutting down operations next month. According to reports, which surfaced on Tuesday, over 100 of the workers could be absorbed into other seafood operations but many of BEV staff remain unsure as to how such an arrangement would be executed.BEV Processors IncThe majority of the workers are women and they are worried for their future as well as that of their children. However, when this Guyana Times approached them for official comment on Tuesday afternoon, many declined to speak.Sources told this publication that proprietor and head of BEV Processors Inc, Bruce Vieira, held a recent meeting where he assured workers that they would receive benefits for their years of service.They were also informed that operations will close by July 15 and the reactions were varied ranging from sheer shock to passive in nature.“We cannot do nothing more, life goes on,” one woman with 11 years of service told this newspaper.She said while she was saddened by the “shocking” announcement, the company is a private one and the owner must decide what he wants to do with his business.Another worker described the situation as “hopeless” but stressed that they have no choice other than to seek alternative employment.Further, a female worker said she had expected to see more involvement from the union representative to advocate on their behalf to bargain for their termination benefits. This newspaper was told that workers are part of Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU).Vieira was quoted in other sections of the media as saying that he is hopeful if Noble House Seafoods can purchase BEV’s plant and garner shrimp suppliers which can provide employment.Vieira denied that his decision to leave the industry was due to a deal he has with an oil company, which needs a sea front property.When Guyana Times approached the businessman’s office for comment on Tuesday, he declined to speak on the matter.In 2016 and 2017, over 4000 workers in the sugar industry were retrenched by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) which affected many of the village economies and family members of workers that were dependent on the sugar industry. Many observers have been warning Guyana against placing too much emphasis in the oil sector whilst neglecting other industries, otherwise called the Dutch Disease.There have been many local companies which are making moves to capitalise on the oil industry. With regards to equipment that was required for trawlers, monitoring equipment is one the safety measures Government has recommended for operators to utilise to guard against piracy.last_img read more