Liberia: Golden Veroleum Justifies Reduction of Workforce
Sinoe County – Golden Veroleum Liberia Inc. (GVL) has blamed the downturn of the global economy and the deadly Coronavirus disease as factors that led to the company downsizing its workforce in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties.
GVL, in a statement, announced a reduction in its workforce of 440 employees across its concession areas in the two Southeastern counties.
According to the company, the downturn of the global economy, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, couple with poor infrastructure in Liberia, is causing the company to spend high on logistics, high costs of vehicle and road maintenance. The company also stated that the drastic slump in the price of palm oil, which is taking a toll on the company’s operations and unsustainable are basis for which it toke such measures to redundant some employees.
The number of employees redundant constitutes about 10 percent of the company’s workforce. The company stated: “The continued low crude palm oil prices, high overhead costs associated with the company’s concession agreement with the Government of Liberia, low production as a result of the company’s inability to expand due to a series of work stoppage, and the country’s uncertain business climate are the primary reasons for the continuing financial losses. These layoffs are the third such broad reductions since 2013.”
According to Mr. Elvis G. Morris, Vice President for Stakeholders and Sustainability, “Our employees are very important to us and making any change to our operations and employees is an incredibly difficult decision for our Management Team. We remain committed to the country and people of Liberia, and our main priority is to ensure the long-term sustainability of our operation.”
The company’s statement said employees, who are affected by this current redundancy will be provided the appropriate severance packages in keeping with applicable laws of Liberia (Decent Work Act), and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Golden Veroleum Liberia Inc. Agriculture Workers Union of Liberia.
The company further said it will continue to implement a number of other measures to cut costs in its operations, including streamlining of the company’s business functions to reduce expenses to improve operational efficiencies.
GVL affirmed that when the company’s financial/economic status improves in the future and warrants additional employment depending on the business operational requirement, employees who are affected by this redundancy may be prioritized for re-employment. Golden Veroleum (Liberia) Inc. said it has injected millions of United States Dollars into the Liberian economy through government taxes, salaries and, local purchases and, and has spent over US$20 million in providing free education, healthcare, housing and security support at the local, county and national levels.