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Hundreds of private sector jobs on the line, warns official
Following last week’s announcement of planned retrenchments at Scotia Bank, a top official of the Human Resource Management Association of Barbados (HRMAB) today expressed strong concern that over 200 workers at the financial institution could be sent home.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of a HRMAB symposium at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, president Glenda Gilkes also warned that more lay offs could be pending in the local private sector.
While acknowledging that some members of her association had already been affected by job cuts, she said, in addition to Scotiabank, HRAB was aware of at least “two other organisations who may be looking at restructuring”.
“I don’t have numbers at the top of my head now, but I know that for example, a group like Scotiabank with branches across Barbados, certainly we are concerned about that, because that could be 200 people, or more. And those things concern us because we don’t have the jobs out there that would really pull those people in,” the HRMAB president said.
She also pointed out that some of the workers affected by the ongoing restructuring would now have to be retrained and retooled to either become their own managers or to join another organisation.
“Our concern is ensuring that our people are treated well,” she told Barbados TODAY, while noting that “we are not only dealing with personnel, but with persons and personal issues”.
“I think we have to understand that, and be empathetic,” she said.
Gilkes also said her association had a role to play in guiding organisations through the retrenchment and restructuring process, “so that, at the end of the day, people come out of it feeling as though that they still matter and that they still have a part to play”.
She said based on the current trend towards layoffs and restructuring, HRMAB had introduced initiatives to equip HR managers in dealing with any fallout.
“We focus on educating our own membership on what they should do, and I think that is why we are having this session today,” she said.
“We want to reach the younger practitioners in the field who have just come out of university and may have landed their first job and they are really faced with some of these challenges that we are having right now in Barbados, that they transition more smoothly.”