Written by on November 21, 2017

Andre Lewis

The Grenada Technical and Allied Workers’ Union (GTAWU) has brought to the attention of its members and the general public that the Government of Grenada has made radical changes to the Board of Directors of Gravel and Concrete, following insistence by Members of the Board (including the Workers’ Representative) that pertinent information concerning the arrangement with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) be made available for discussion.

On October 6, 2017, MP Gregory Bowen called the Board of Directors to a meeting to provide an “Update” on the progress of the Public Private Partnership (PPP). Up until that time the Board — despite many requests, had been given very limited information regarding the proposed PPP.

Bowen advised that a resolution would be sent to the Board to effect/manage Transfer of Ownership to the new entity. He pointed out that no questions should be asked by the Board and that the document must just be signed — which flies in the face of the obligation of the Board under the law to form its own opinion as to whether the proposed PPP is in the best interest of the Corporation. It was pointed out that it would be unreasonable to require a Director to sign any document without first having an appreciation of its content and impact.

On Friday, November 10, 2017, an attempt was made to pass a resolution giving effect to the transfer of the Gravel and Concrete Assets; but an objection was made to the fact that the purported directive was not even in writing.

On Monday, November 13, 2017, the Board meeting was reconvened with a written directive from the Minister for Works, Honourable Gregory Bowen instructing that the Board pass and sign a resolution giving effect to the transfer. At this point, once again objection was taken by the failure and refusal of the Government of Grenada to disclose to the Board the matters surrounding the PPP arrangements while insisting that the Board sign the resolution. The resolution though tabled, failed to get any seconder.

On Thursday, November 16, 2017, the Workers’ Representative Andre’ Lewis received a letter dated November 15, 2017 informing about that the Board had been reconstituted. Then, a letter was received by GTAWU dated November 16, 2017, informing the union that the PPP was now at a stage where the transfer of operations could be effected and that the new entity would be expected to assume management during the week of Monday, November 20, 2017.

GTAWU wishes to make it clear that it is not opposed to the re-organisation or restructuring of Gravel and Concrete. However, the Directors — under the law -have an obligation to form their independent opinion so as to ensure that this is not a case of “jumping out of the frying pan into the fire”.

While it is for Government to decide on the policy issue of a change in the nature of ownership, the Board of Directors is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that any particular transaction is in the best interest of the Corporation.

The Union holds the view that any change regarding National Assets must be brought to the attention of the public.

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