The LBI factory was closed in March, 2011. This would have been an attempt to integrate the LBI and Enmore Estates into one production entity to optimize the use of the limited pool of labour.
The factories at both estates, at the time, were significantly under-utilized as a result of the shortage of field labour.
For the integration of the two estates into one production unit to make sense, the duplicated activities should have been rationalized in the same year but this was not done and resulted in further deterioration in the economics of the East Demerara operation. The East Demerara Estate’s cost of production increased from US26 to 30 cents per pound prior to the closure of the LBI factory to US41 cents per pound after the closure, peaking at US54 cents in 2013.
It behooves the current management to expedite the completion of the integration of the Enmore and LBI Estates into the East Demerara Estate to try and prevent sugar production in East Demerara from going out of existence in the near future.
It is important to bear in mind that the Mill Dock operation is only necessary where there is a factory. The closure of the LBI factory in 2011 rendered the Mill Dock redundant. Retaining it for the past 5 years represents keeping approximately 58 persons on the payroll with no productive work to do and transporting canes from the LBI cultivation to the Enmore factory in a more costly manner.
The following are details of the employee composition at the LBI section of the East Demerara Estate:
- The LBI section has 846 employees from which approximately 125 are duplicating functions which are currently being undertaken at Enmore.
- These include personnel in the following areas: Mill Dock, Field Workshop, Field Laboratory, Field Office and Stores.
The following are the categories of employees at the LBI section:
- 710 Field workers
- 136 Junior staff
Of the above, approximately 721 are working at both the LBI and Enmore sections primarily in the harvesting and crop husbandry areas.
Approximately 125 employees are in the category of duplicating functions at LBI, details as follows:
- 58 persons in the Mill Dock.
- 38 persons in the Field Workshop, and
- The remainder are in the Field Laboratory, Field Office and Stores
The numbers that will be made redundant will be determined after filling existing vacancies at Enmore. GuySuCo, GAWU and NACCIE are in discussion to have this process completed by the end of May, 2016.
April 18, 2016