Did Ministry of Labour inspectors not notice there were no interlocks between the hot and cold sides in Barama’s piping system?

Dear Editor,

The table at the end of this letter shows that Barama Company Ltd has been running its plywood plant at lower and lower levels from its installed mill capacity of 108,000 m3 of plywood per year — in the last decade to 17 per cent of the installed capacity.

In relation to the closure of Barama’s plywood plant and the firing of 274 Guyanese workers, I pose the following questions to the Ministry of Labour and Go-Invest through you:

1. When the Ministry of Labour has been inspecting the plywood plant, did its inspectors not notice that there were no interlocks between the hot and cold sides in the piping system which are surely standard practice or could such safety locks have been overridden?

2. If 274 Guyanese have been sent home, have 15 per cent of non-Guyanese workers also been sent away?
(Clause 11.1 of Barama’s Foreign Direct Investment contract: The company shall employ Guyanese workers. In any event the Government shall permit the company to employ up to 15 per cent non-Guyanese workers.)

3. Has the Government of Guyana checked that management charges levied by the parent company, Samling Global, with respect to the plywood mill are no longer claimed as tax deductible under Clause 7.5 of Barama’s Foreign Direct Investment contract?
Yours faithfully,
Janette Bulkan

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