Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2016 Contents A17
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PANAMA CITY---A Chinese cargo ship
has been selected as the first vessel to
transit the Panama Canal s expanded
Authorities say the inaugural crossing
will be made by the Andronikos, a so-
called New-Panamax ship with a 9,400-
It was chosen by lottery Friday. Only
Cosco of China and Norway s Wallenius
Wilhemsen Lines took part. Canal admin-
istrator Jorge Luis Quijano said other com-
panies were interested but unable to do
so. That s because it had to be a west-
ward-bound ship, and also because of
draft limitations due to scant rains attrib-
uted to the weather pattern known as El
Nino. The ceremonial opening of the
canal s US$5.2 billion expansion is set for
Chinese ship will be first to navigate expanded Panama Canal
Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Franklin Khan, centre, with the new board of directors to the Rural Development
Company (RDC) who were presented with their instruments of appointment for a three year term on Wednesday. Chairman of the board is
Kenrick Bobb and other members include Dave Alves, Kendall Kowlessar, Michelle Mischier and Augustus Thomas.
NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Another multi-national company is set to
close its doors in T&T and approximately 55
employees are to be sent home.
Staff at Carillion (Caribbean) Limited, a local
subsidiary of Canada-based Carillion Plc, say
they have been offered enhanced Voluntary
Separation Packages (VSEP) as its local operations
are expected to wind up at year s end.
The company is in the business of construc-
tion, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering
and had been involved in major projects in T&T.
In March, ArcelorMittal shut down its oper-
ations sending home 644 employees, while three
other local companies which depended on the
steel plant to operate also closed shop and sent
home their workforce.
A senior member of staff, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity, said the human
resources manager from Canada s headquarters
visited the Brickfield, Waterloo Road, Cara-
pichaima facility recently and told employees
about the direction the company is now forced
to take because of the downturn in the econ-
The employees were offered VSEP packages,
inclusive of all entitlements and holidays, and
will be given approximately 40 days notice of
who is next to go home. The process is expected
to be on a phased basis, with the first phase
beginning at the end of this month. Including
in the first five to go home is a senior manager
who has been employed at the company for
about 15 years.
"It is only verbal notice that employees are
being given and in every month, five names will
be given as to who are next to go home with
their respective packages. The company is doing
it smartly under the limit so that they won t
have to inform the Minister (of Labour) as to
what is happening," the employee said.
The employee said management has allegedly
given instructions not to take on projects that
would exceed November/December this year.
Asked how members of staff are coping, the
employee said: "Staff are disappointed and sad-
dened but they are doing what they are supposed
to do because they know they have to go home
there is no option there.
"The fortnightly paid workers, though, have
no clue as to what is happening. They are ques-
tioning certain things but no one is telling them
Reports are that the last of staff members to
go in November will be the person who holds
the position of timekeeper.
Carillion Canada s Director, Marketing and
Communications, Andrew Brown in an emailed
response to questions said due to the drop in
oil prices over the past year and the current
economic situation in T&T, Carillion had to take
steps to remain competitive. He said the company
has become more selective in the works tendered
and will focus on the core skills of fabrication
works at the Waterloo Depot, including offshore
installation and fabric maintenance works.
"Because of this refined focus, there has been
a reduction in the size of the local workforce,"
However, Brown assured that Carillion will
deliver on current contractual obligations while
maintaining expected standards of safety and
Carillion scales down T&T operations
55 workers to be sent home
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