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Linden call centre closes suddenly, workers told go to govt for benefits

Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Simona Broomes addressing the staff members

Labour authorities have intervened in the immediate closure of a call centre in Linden and the dismissal of more than 90 persons without paying them off.

Junior Minister of Social Protection Simona Broomes said Toucan Connections Incorporated, the only Call Centre in the mining town in Region 10, violated labour laws when it closed operations recently and sent home the workers without notice.

She rebuffed claims by workers that the management told them to go to government for severance pay. This notion was quickly shut down by Minister Broomes, as she told the now unemployed persons that this is not true. “If it was told to you, that it is the responsibility of Government to pay your severance, I would like to say to you, this is not true. It is the responsibility of the person who employed you to do so,” Broomes was quoted by the Government Information Agency as telling the now unemployed persons.

The minister explained that the management of the Call Centre violated the labour laws in Guyana, as these mandate that businesses upon their closure or intentions to do so, must first inform their employees and then the respective Government or State agency.

This has forced the Government to intervene to ensure that the now unemployed persons will be given their full benefits.

Broomes, who holds oversight responsibility for the labour department, led a team to the mining town Wednesday to meet with officials and staff of the now closed Call Centre.

During the engagement with the manager, supervisor, and 86 staff members at the Centre, the Minister explained that she was informed of the issue by Regional Chairman, Rennis Morian, who was also present.