Today, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha met with workers from the Enmore Packaging Facility to update them on the future of the facility.
The workers were told that Guysons K+B Industries (GKB) had entered into an agreement with the Government of Guyana to lease the facility which will then be transformed into a modern oil field service center and manufacturing facility.
Minister Mustapha told the workers that as part of the agreement, the company was required to retain every worker employed at the facility and provide the necessary skills training so that workers were not left on the breadline.
“We are here today because many workers expressed concerns after they learned that this packaging plant will be relocated to Albion. We are exploring that option because, as a government, we want to consolidate, recapitalize and we want to ensure GuySuCo is an entity that eventually becomes profitable. Over the last 18 months, since assuming office, we’ve allocated almost $14 billion to this Corporation. We’ve also injected funds into the shuttered estates like, here, at Enmore…”
“As faith would have it, we are now looking to divest and we’ve met with an interested investor and signed an agreement that will see GKB leasing this packaging plant and transforming it into a modern machine shop. I want to make it clear that the workers who are employed will be absorbed by the company. So, you can rest assured that your jobs will be secured. From the government level, we’ll also make two months’ pay available to you to assist with the transition,” Minister Mustapha said.
The minister also told the workers that, unlike the previous administration, this government will not abandon the people of this country.
Minister Mustapha further stated that, as work progresses at the service station, an additional 460 new jobs will be created for the people of Enmore and other neighboring communities.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony who was also present at the meeting said with Guyana now benefiting from large oil finds, companies, directly and indirectly, involved in oil and gas will be looking to employ persons from Enmore and other surrounding communities who have the necessary skillset.
“You will see us developing, as a government, a number of facilities in the East Coast. We want to create jobs for these people in these industries. We have large finds of oil offshore and, therefore, they would need certain machinery and parts for that industry. We have in this community, and in the surrounding communities, a lot of persons who have the skillset and I’m sure they will be looking for persons with those kinds of skills as they get this particular production up and running. In addition to that, they’re other interests, so its government’s intention to ensure that we develop this area and other surrounding villages so that more people can be employed,” Dr. Anthony noted.
The Minister of Health also told the workers that the government will be transforming the Enmore Poly Clinic into a modern regional hospital. This new health facility, he explained, will be outfitted with an accident/emergency section, a theater for surgeries, and an outpatient section among others. This project, he added, is expected to commence within the next three months.
Chief Executive Officer of Guysons Group of Companies, Faizal Khan said that workers can rest assured that they will receive the necessary skills training to ensure their transition is as smooth as possible.
“This is a joint venture from Louisiana called Guysons K and B Industries. We’ve already been traded. We’ve already got contracts with ExxonMobil and others. What we intend to do here is pipe and oil field service work. I’ve spoken at length with the minister and the President mentioned on no less than four occasions “make sure you look after the people at the Enmore Packaging Facility and the people of Enmore”. I heard you are very hard-working people and I want to assure you that we will give you the necessary training so that your transition can be as smooth as possible,” Mr. Khan said.
Workers who attended the meeting said that they were relieved that the government made it a priority to ensure their livelihoods were secured even as new job opportunities were being created for the community.
They also thanked the President and the Minister for ensuring skills training formed part of the agreement between the investor and government as many of them would require some amount of training to function in their new roles.