All Manufacturing Plants Opened: Prime Minister Harris Pledges Government Support
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, October 1, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — The careful management of the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed St. Kitts and Nevis to gradually reopen all sectors of the economy from agriculture to manufacturing with very satisfactory results, according to Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris.
“All our manufacturing plants are opened and over 84 per cent of all employees willing to work are back on the job,” said Prime Minister Harris on Thursday October 1, at his monthly Press Conference held at the NEMA Conference Room in Lime Kiln.
“Across the eight export manufacturing plants, 879 persons are back on the job,” noted Dr Harris. “Jaro Ltd has 205 of its employees back on the job. Jaro is the largest employer in the export manufacturing enclave, and it is followed by API Harowe (St. Kitts) Ltd which has 198 persons having returned to work.”
According to the Honourable Prime Minister, of a total of 1,112 employees in the export manufacturing sector, 71 were made redundant, leaving a pool of 1,041 persons available for work.
He observed that 879 employees representing 84 per cent of the pool, are now satisfactorily back on the job, receiving their earnings, and another 100 employees are expected to resume work when Jaro Ltd completes the retrofitting of its other plants to ensure compliance with Covid-19 protocols.
“Jaro has several work plants, and so they are retrofitting a number of them to ensure the safe return of just over 100 employees,” observed Prime Minister Harris. “I assure Jaro Limited, and indeed all of the manufacturing plants, that any support solicited that we can offer we will readily consider.”
But even as the manufacturing plants are back to work, and employees returning to their jobs, Prime Minister Harris lamented that he had been advised that a few employees are turning down invitations to work at nights, which he said was very unfortunate in his view given the global challenges in finding work.
“Our people have to adjust to the new dynamics of shift work and accept work when it becomes available,” advised Dr Harris. “The traditional 8:00 am to 4:00 pm work routine is giving way to flexible hours as dictated by consumers, and of course the inescapable production schedules.”